does god exist? :D
I really dont believe in god so yeah, what do you think? :) honest opion now.
GOD vs SCIENCE
This one will keep your attention to the end. It really makes you think.
A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son? 'Yes sir,' the student says. 'So you believe in God?' 'Absolutely.' 'Is God good?' 'Sure! God's good.' 'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?' 'Yes.' 'Are you good or evil?' 'The Bible says I'm evil.'
The professor grins knowingly.
'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'
'Yes sir, I would.' 'So you're good.' 'I wouldn't say that.' 'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does He? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer,even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'
The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says.
He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Errr yes,' the student says.
'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'
'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'
'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'
'So who created evil?'
The professor continued,
'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'
Again, the student has no answer.
'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'
The student squirms on his feet.
'So who created them?'
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.
'Who created them?'
There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.
he continues onto another student.
'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'
The student's voice betrays him and cracks.
'Yes, professor, I do.'
The old man stops pacing.
'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'
'No sir. I've never seen Him.'
'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not.'
'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'
'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'
the student replies.
'I only have my faith. '
'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own.
'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'
'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'
'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested.
The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.
'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that.. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest
-458 degrees.' 'Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'
'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it?
That's the meaning we use to define the word.'
'In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.
'So what point are you making, young man?'
'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'
The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time.
'Flawed? Can you explain how?'
'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'
'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'
'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.
'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'
The student looks around the room.
'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?'
The class breaks out into laughter.
'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable,
demonstrable protocol, science ! says tha t you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.
Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.
'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'
'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,'
the student continues.
'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'
Now uncertain, the professor responds,
'Of course, there is. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'
To this the student replied,
'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'
The professor sat down.
Yes I believe in God. And I guess my question to you what would it hurt if you did? I know what it hurts if you don't.
A little clarification:
Apparently you revised your previous post after I had addressed it. This must have happened while we were both blind to the other's actions. Why I felt the need for the caveat... and why I made time allowances following your last post. The citation in my last post was from your post before you revised it.
A theodicy has never been tasked with proving God. A theodicy attempts the logical reconciliation of the problem of evil resulting from a benevolent supreme deity. It isn't necessary for a conclusion to be verified before it is postulated. You have your cart ahead of the horse. If a conclusion is proven independent of the premises... what use are the premises?
Gnosticism as any other belief system has varying interpretations. A general Gnostic belief is as follows... The creator of the material universe... known as the demiurge... was a corruption of an Aeon...I forget which one... but apes the supreme god of the light [spirit] universe and can be considered a shadow of that god... similar in form but lacking the essence. Spirit became trapped in the material universe... again...I can't remember exactly how... and am too trifling to go looking... The supreme god sent his logos into reality in order to reclaim the lost spirit... some sects define the demiurge as evil[corrupted form of power]...at least one sect...the valentinians... believed the demiurge...isnt evil... but has the capability.. because it isnt the light god...I.e. it is detached from the goodness.
The word "absence" in the term "absence theodicy" speaks to it's nature, oddly enough. This type of theodicy reconciles evil in a universe with a supreme deity by suggesting the deities local absence.
The Gnostic interpretation I offer harmonizes smoothly with the absence theodicy.
Now that the semantics have been settled... on to my point... and more semantics.
You stated... "abbie98, what you're describing in the first part of that story is the Absence Theodicy and it's a flawed line of reasoning. You can't define evil as the the total absence of God, because God by definition is omnipresent."
The absence theodicy isn't flawed logic as I have previously stated... the absence theodicy never posits an omnipresent god in it's premises... you have.
The absence theodicy... simple version. Premise 1. Evil doesn't exist Premise 2. Evil is the absence of good Premise 3. The supreme deity is good conclusion: what we perceive as evil is the absence of the supreme deity.
This statement is valid because the conclusion logically follows from the premises. This statement cannot be proven. We cannot deduce it's truthfulness... only it's validity.
I've read the Nag Hammadi texts... I'm aware of the other sources of gnostic scripture. I'd wager my understanding of gnostic scripture is every bit as narrowminded as your own... however I do hold the rational capacity to reason in subtlety and nuance. I have given an example to illustrate how a NT based religion.. eg gnosticism can be construed in order to exemplify that conditional placed by yourself on the statement and still work. Are you now going to reason that gnosticism doesn't have a basis in the NT interpretation of God?.. .Will this be your narrow interpretation?... Do you expect logic to bend to meet your semantic argument?
"Definitions of God, good, and evil seem very relevant to me. And if you're worried about the statement's validity as opposed to its truthfulness, it seems you also are worried about semantics. That's how this whole discussion started."
I'm afraid we're at an impasse here. This statement epitomizes our miscommunication. I argue that personal semantics matter not one wit when assigning validity to a logical statement. I shouldn't have to argue it however... this is generally accepted as a given.
You decided on the validity of the statement. You may have spoken to its truthfulness elsewhere... it isn't what I addressed. I pointed out that the absence theodicy was logically valid... and your analysis misconceived. Like it or not. Your words were your words.
I've provided an example of the absence theodicy. God is defined as the supreme benevolent deity... good as the abstract quality of said deity... and the definition of evil is drawn from the conclusion. Anything taken from or added to these premises can no longer validate or invalidate the statement. You can further define these terms... use them in a declarative statement of your own...and when the conclusion is then invalidated... congratulate yourself for proving a conditional point... but recognize that your conclusion doesn't bear on the absence theodicy I have stated. One valid absence theodicy statement is enough to establish its credibility.
"And you still have the problem of why good-evil scale is as it is. That problem with the theodicy was never answered."
I don't recall addressing any scale. I only recall challenging your statement that an omnipresent god logically violates an absent one inasmuch as an omnipresent god wasn't postulated and therefore has no bearing on the conclusion drawn.
As ridicules as this whole thing is the bottom line is that NO ONE HAS PROOF EITHER WAY. You can not prove there is no God, you can not prove there is a God. There is no reason for people to try to convert anyone (either direction) because as much as you'd like to be able to prove it YOU CAN'T.
And believing in God is not about brainwashing people, it's about a choice. Normal (and I do agree that some are very strange) Christians actually give their children all the information they have and then let them make their own choices when they are old enough. The same would go for Atheists. What would you do if your child believed there was a God? Would you disown them? Or just tell them they're wrong all the time...wouldn't that also be brainwashing?
As for the burden of proof being on Christians...how is that even remotely true? Why do Christians have to try to prove anything to anybody? Why do Atheist's have to try to prove anything to anybody? Religion and lack of religion is about CHOICE and that's all it will ever be.
As for believing in Scooby Doo...it is different and that's a completely assine statement to make. Scooby Doo is a cartoon character on Tv. At least come up with something like Fairies, at least that is something that people can actually believe in.
You might think your religion or lack of religion is better than someone else's (and that's your choice to think that) but what right do you have to constantly be telling people that they're wrong? I agree if someone asks for your opinion then you should give it but there are so many questions on here that ask things like...My daughter is gay and I believe in God, how can I accept her?...the answers should answer the question not be...There is no God...how does that help the person? Do you honestly think that the person who asked the question is just going to say..."Oh yeah, that make since and I'm going to change my lifelong belief because someone told me there is no God"? Stick to the question people.
Everyone needs to remember that whatever religion you are or aren't is your own choice and no one has the right to tell you you're wrong. If you can't prove it with100% accuracy then you could be wrong.
As for what I believe...I grew up a Christian and my parents have excepted the choice I have made, maybe the rest of you out there need to accept the choices other people make too without judging them.
Look the fact of the matter is that God cannot be scientificaly proven, however a lot of the stories in the bible can be proven. Did you know that a whole bunch of ancient egyptian charriots have been found in the Red sea, dating back to the days when Moses led the israelites out of their slavery. read this story http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=19382
The way I see it is that if they can prove stories in the bible true why would it be a fake? Lets look at how we got here? There are a lot of people who reckon we came from a big bang... ummm... righhht. Like we came from a bunch of swamp gas that exploded and created everything... please man... go outside and look at the stars in the sky and the plants and animals and how perfect everything is and try tell me that all came from a bunch of swamp gas... and you guys can speak for yourself when you say we came from monkeys... I SURE DIDN'T! God made me thank you very much. Everything here on Earth is perfect, we are in the perfect position with regards to the sun, any closer and we would all die of heat, any further away and we would all freeze, now you still reckon those gasses formed together in that exact perfect location for life to exist? Its common scence to believe in a creator, and in my opinion its absolute stupidity to believe we came from gasses and an explosion. Which takes me back to the bible, the only book that has made it this far through time. Remeber when god said the city of babylon will be destroyed and never be rebuilt... well today its a heap of sand, but the iraq goverment decided to rebuild the city, until america invaded iraq which stopped the reconstruction... and you still deny the stories in the bible to be false? Its so real that its scary guys, you guys deny it because you would rather live your life the way you want to, and im not saying I live a holy life, im a sinner just like everyone else, but its up to us to strive to live for God everyday, The truth of it is that this part of our lives is a tiny tiny part, all we are here to do is spread the news on what God did for us, send his only son Jesus christ to die for us so that our sins can be forgiven through his blood. Open your eyes, wake up people... God is sooo real.
oh, sorry about that! I think I accidentally hit the enter button and posted it before I was done.
Let me start with a statement at the end of your post.
"The absence theodicy isn't flawed logic as I have previously stated... the absence theodicy never posits an omnipresent god in it's premises.."
What kind of god do you think it posits?
When you say "the creator" I have to stop you. Many Gnostics don't believe the "supreme force" created anything. Emanation is a more accurate term, since creation would imply the supreme intentionally created something capable of evil. The emanations that resulted in the dimiurge were the result of an incorrect, or incomplete emanation.
That's important to understand, because it shows why, in my view, that Gnostic beliefs are irrelevant when talking about the Absence Theodicy. Gnostics don't believe in "God". God is a monotheistic concept, and the "supreme force" described by Gnostics is not monotheistic. The Absence Theodicy, as least as I've always seen it, deals with "God", a supreme, omni-benevolent, sentient being.
You also didn't address the other issue I raised, which is that many Gnostics don't understand the universe in terms of good and evil. There is the material, and there is the spiritual. One must transcend the material in order to reach the spiritual. This makes the Absence Theodicy irrelevant to Gnostic beliefs. Gnostics do not necessarily explain "evil" in terms of the absence of "good", and that being the lack of "God's" presence, because none of these terms I've put in parentheses are concepts in Gnosticism.
I would say that if the Absence Theodicy involves "God" and if he is defined as omniscient, and omni-potent, a foundational still has to be that he is omni-present. If God has infallible knowledge of all things, including what humans perceive as the future, he would have to be present in all of space and time. Otherwise, what is God's knowledge of the future based on?
For the record I believe in God...why? Well..for a lot of experiences in my life: Specially this one: There was a young Mother to be.. and on an accident a boy on a byke that passed a red light got hit by the car where the Young Mothere was with Her Family. The boy in the byke is the one who passed the red light but..the young Mother's Father (He was driving the car) got down of the car to help the guy on the byke..but the young girl...was pregnant only 6 months & She had some pains on her belly because of the fright of the happening, because the guy on the byke was ok..they ran with Her to the Hospital (it was a night were a Hurricane was anounced on the radio & tv) the doctors looked at Her & what a surprise! The baby was coming ...so they did a cesarean to take the 6month baby out to an incubator machine & when they checked Her after the operation ; She was diagnosed with cancer. If the Baby had been born on the full 9 months it would be too late to use radioteraphy on Her. The baby wasn't guaranteed to survive because was so small like a lil mouse. All Her family and neighboors prayed for the Baby & She prayed crying because It was Her life that tiny baby. 45 days later the Pedriatrician who knew that the baby hasn't not even a small chance to live saw that increibly an as a miracle all the chances changed as "lightspeed" & it was on a night of January 6 to 7 (the festivity that we all Latin America celebrate as THE 3 WISE KING DAY or The three Kings/ The one's who presented the presents of Gold,Frankincense & Myrrh to a baby Jesus) .
By the way , The baby of 6 months was Me. And I'm a living proof that God is real & my Mother after a fight with cancer never let Her Faith down & was cured. And even when She ended in a wheelchair She continued to be strong for Me and for all thee Family. I hope this helped some.
"Because I've stated that religion and lack of religion is simply a belief? Is that wrong?"
Yes that is wrong. Lack of religion could be due to many things with belief having nothing to do with it. Someone who has never been exposed to any religion at all would know nothing about it to believe or not believe in. It would still be a lack of religion, but one can't not believe something they have never hearrd of.
Atheism is not a lack of religion, but a lack of belief in dieties. Something very different than actually believing in something. I see no evidence of Santa Claus. Is not believing in him really a belief, or just an observation? Same with belief in dieties. I am not going to pretend something exists when there is not one shred of evidence that points to even the possiblity one exists. It is simply an observation, not a belief. In order to believe in the christian god, one has to suspend everything we know about the real physical world. Some people can do that, other cannot.
Most atheists don't really care about other people's belief until one of the following happens:
They start trying to convert them (and that is what they all do, otherwise where would new members come from?)
They start challenging them with susposed evidence (like "god must exist, how else did we get here?")
They start impeding scientific discovery because it flies in the face of their irrational beliefs (like evolution and stem cell research)
If you are an atheist, that is good. But you seem awfully defenseive about challenging believers.
Then one must first espouse belief in a god that isn't omni/potent/scient before he can believe in a god that isnt omnipresent? Omnipresence is the foundational? That makes logical sense when ascribed to non-fatalistic views of ultimate reality. Fatalists could argue that in time omnipotence and omniscience could be attained by a god that wasnt always omnipresent. I guess the foregone conclusion would negate the absence of a god in that view as well however.
There are religious beliefs that deny the universality of the NT God... e.g. Gnosticism. Gnostics seem to be very much in tune with the absence theodicy.
The crux of my point is that you argued the absence theodicy is itself flawed reasoning by assigning a conditional not provided for in the statement. An all-present god wasn't posited in the premises. A statement's validity is only dependent upon whether or not the conclusion stems from premises provided. One can disprove a premise and conclude that the statement isn't true... but the statement could still be valid. The Absence Theodicy is a valid statement and isn't flawed reasoning.
If I make an allowance and concede the statement suggests a NT God... I've provided an example of at least one interpretation that denies the all encompassing nature of such a deity. The particular here is sufficient to conclude the revised statement is valid because you have the burden of proving that each NT religion upholds a universal God in order to disprove the adjunct statement.
"oh, sorry about that! I think I accidentally hit the enter button and posted it before I was done."...I assumed as much.
You're missing several subtleties.
You are using semantics heavily in order to justify your position.
You are using your interpretation of a supreme omni-benevolent sentient being without understanding the gnostic collective interpretation of such a being... they allow for a summarized being composed of sentient parts.
Gnostics perceive material as evil. This sentiment is echoed in the New Testament numerous times. I think the "sentient" gnostics understand that the material reality that encapsulates them is the absence of the goodness that is the supreme god. You are missing these subtleties. It was the desire of one gnostic sect to starve themselves to death in order to achieve gnosis... because hunger is a materialistic desire.
A theodicy attempts to logically reconcile the logical problem of evil stemming from a benevolent supreme deity.
I posit a benevolent supreme deity... nothing more. When you concluded that it was logically flawed you were assigning conditionals not posited. Your conclusion is wrong.
I understand that you have a problem with a supreme deity not being all-everything.. but that is a different logical problem. There are others... how can free will exist with an omni-present god?... these have to be reconciled elsewhere... You declared the logical statement as flawed... that is the matter at hand.
I'm sorry did you think I was a Christian? Because I'm not...at all. And I agree that out in the world there are people trying to push Christianity on people...never happened to me but I'm sure that it has happened.
And I totally agree that anyone can have their own beliefs...but that doesn't mean the "normal" people shouldn't get respect. And obviously I didn't read Abbie's post, not that I overlooked it but just didn't read it.
And since I'm not a Christian I would have to agree with you that everyone can participate in the religious section.
By the way...anyone that disowns their child for a different belief should of never been a parent to begin with...it's a good thing mine didn't disown me.
As for converting them...I don't know...I've never had anyone try to convert me but there's a lot of other people on here that have said that they have been. So I guess you would have to ask them.
And how am I wrong? Because I've stated that religion and lack of religion is simply a belief? Is that wrong? I'm not getting pissed off, actually I think it's funny that I believe there is NO GOD and everyone of you are treating me like I believe in God. Strange. Obviousy I have been brought up by the "normal" Christians who do not disown their children because they believe something else. Nor have they ever tried to convert me...my husbands family are Jehovah Witness's and even they do not try to convert me.
"There is no reason for people to try to convert anyone (either direction) because as much as you'd like to be able to prove it YOU CAN'T. "
Reasonable people may disagree about the existence of gods and the validity of religion, but that doesn't mean the issues aren't worth discussing.
"And believing in God is not about brainwashing people, it's about a choice."
Obviously people can choose to believe all kinds of gobbly-gook, but the methods used to convince them are often very sketchy. If a person raises his child to believe the earth is flat, and the child grows up clinging to that belief despite evidence to the contrary, I think you'd agree the child has been brainwashed.
"As for the burden of proof being on Christians...how is that even remotely true? Why do Christians have to try to prove anything to anybody?"
The Christian message involves conversion of non-believers. If Christians wish to do this, they need to provide reasons for accepting their belief system.
"Everyone needs to remember that whatever religion you are or aren't is your own choice and no one has the right to tell you you're wrong. If you can't prove it with100% accuracy then you could be wrong."
I disagree. Obviously, religion and irreligion are matters of choice, but people have the right to tell each other they are wrong, if they want to and if that's what they believe. That's what freedom of speech is.
Right, but there were no premises given. There was just a conclusion, a statement about evil being the absence of good (God's presence, whatever that is). You are talking about the original post to which I responded, right? Yeah, no premises, no definitions of any kind. And I disagree...I don't think I'm mistaken in saying that the theodicy's first task is to prove and define god. Without this, it's a useless argument.
As far as the validity of the statement, as I said, it's arguable that the Gnostics even define a God, good, or evil. So what's the point of arguing the Absence Theodicy?
"I'm not sure what the statement's relevance is. "
Maybe I wasn't clear. The Absence Theodicy deals with a scale of good, you agree? Good and evil aren't absolute terms, they are relative. Evil is simply a term we use to describe the absence of good. So the presence of evil doesn't disprove God, according to the Theodicy, because evil is simply the absence of God's good presence.
However, the Gnostic belief system doesn't necessarily concede that evil is the absence of good. Evil, according to some Gnostics, is an entirely separate emanation, a force opposite of good, rather than the absence of it. In other words, good and evil are absolute terms.
So the theodicy is irrelevant when discussing the Gnostic belief system, at least that's how I see it.
abbie98, what you're describing in the first part of that story is the Absence Theodicy and it's a flawed line of reasoning. You can't define evil as the the total absence of God, because God by definition is omnipresent. God cannot be "more present" in some areas and "less present" in others, with "more good" and "less good" being the result. If there are limitations to God's presence in the universe, then he is not God, simply a more powerful life form, and the whole issue goes away. But if he is omnipresent, he is everywhere, in all his 100% fully awesome-goodness...so "evil" shouldn't even be possible anywhere in the universe. And that's just one problem with the Absence Theodicy...it still doesn't answer the question of why the opposite end of the "goodness scale", pure evil, is the way it is. If God determines the universe, he should be able to determine exactly how "evil" the other side of that scale really is. That he would allow it to involve pain and suffering, instead of just being "a little less than awesome" is something the Absence Theodicy can't answer.
As for the lack of proof of evolution, that is an issue which will involve you doing some homework. Evolution has an overwhelming body of evidence supporting it, and has actually been observed despite the absurd claims of the student in your anecdote.
"I still don't see how the theodicy flows logically from the premises. You'll have to explain that further. Perhaps I don't understand subtlety and nuance in arguments as well as you do, but I am still not convinced of the validity of the theodicy, especially if we're talking about Gnosticism."
Then we're going to have to leave this to the court of public opinion... there are only so many ways one can say the same thing before the triteness erodes any substantiation garnered by the veracity of the argument.
"Do you expect logic to bend to meet your semantic argument? "
I was addressing your logical conclusion fallacy hinging upon semantic variants validating logical declarations... not the gnostic interpretation debacle. If you require any and every interpretation of gnosticism to work seemlessly into the NT God conditional I allowed that you placed on the absence theodicy to validate the statement... then... NO... of course that is impossible... fortunately neither is it required logically. Again... If we are arguing in order to satisfy your requirements... not logical ones... then you will have to remain unsatisfied.
If my point that your analysis is wrong because you assign conditionals to a logical statement not given in the premises in order to invalidate it still eludes you... its a moot point.
I have enjoyed reading through all of these answers. The only 2 reasons I responded was 1. I believe in God and 2. I couldn't wait to see the array of responses that never end to amaze me.
I'm not try to convert anyone. It's a personal choice. If you feel some sort of nudging as to whether God exist . . . and I guess you must have or you wouldn't have asked the question. Then you might should study on that more to see why you even wanted to know.
We could shove words back and forth for the rest of our lives. When we're dead and gone people are still going to be bickering over it.
For me, all I know is that His words say "If you are ashamed of me and my words then the son of man will be ashamed of you in front of the Father" I believe that He is the most powerful being and I don't want Him ashamed of me no where. I have enough bad things that could go wrong. Ticking the Master off isn't on my list of things to do.
And why is it that when people don't believe in God, "God help me" is usually the first thing off their lips in the time of troubles? If they don't believe in God. Why would anyone call on Him for help? And why do you care who believes in God or not?
I don't think I've ever aksed anyone do you study Atheism?
Thanks for decison it's been a eye opener.
It isn't important for a statement to prove anything in order to be a valid statement. You are mistaken. It is only imperative that the conclusion follow logically from the premises. It does not have to provide anything more than it has. If we wish to prove the existence of god using it... yes... then we must first prove the premises.
I suppose it is arguable according to the diverse sects of gnosticism past and present as to each interpretation of the manifestation of God. This doesn't affect the validity of the statement. If it is valid in one such interpretation.. it is a valid statement... a statement can't be both valid and invalid... it can be valid and not true... you are confusing validity for truthfulness.
"And even if you accept conventional definitions of good and evil, you still have the problem of how evil, imperfect, material things can emanate from a perfect, good "god" or "force" or whatever you want to call it."
This is precisely what the absence theodicy addresses. It... in fact... argues against this perception... so... I'm not sure what the statement's relevance is.
Never once have I said the issues aren't worth discussing I have said that YOU CAN NOT PROVE IT so to set out to convert someone is completely ridicules.
As for a person teaching their child the earth is flat...well then, that just makes a stupid person not a brainwashed child. And there is no without a doubt proof that God does not exist.
Never once has anyone in my family (or my friends) tried to tell me that I should convert to Christianity...Never. And of course if someone asks them they should provide reasons for other people to accept their belief system...but then the Atheist's, etc. also should provide their reasons for their belief system. And as I've stated that's all it is...Belief.
You totally misunderstood what I said. Obviously there is freedom of speech and I totally agree with it, I do not however agree with people saying that Christians are plain and simple wrong (obviously you can't be wrong about an opinion). The same goes with Atheist's and every other religion out there.
So, anything else?
The theodicy itself must first prove God's existence, and give a defintion of what God is. The original story didn't do any of that. You are correct that when I argued against it, I assumed it was referring to an omnipresent being.
I disagree that the Absence Theodicy is even relevant to Gnosticism. Theodicies try to resolve the problem of evil and suffering in a universe controlled by a supreme, moral being. It's arguable whether the Gnostic concept of God is omniscient and omnipotent, or even really a "god" at all, as opposed to an animating force from which things simply emanate, including gods. It's also arguable whether Gnosticism defines things in terms of "good" and "evil"...many simply see things in terms of natural and supernatural, or material and immaterial. Even if they do agree on definitions of good and evil, I wouldn't exactly say Gnostics see evil as simply the absence of good...again, some see evil as an emanation of its own.
" I have given an example to illustrate how a NT based religion.. eg gnosticism can be construed in order to exemplify that conditional placed by yourself on the statement and still work."
That you haven't is what I've been arguing the whole time. I think we really have reached an impasse on this gnosticism debate.
"Do you expect logic to bend to meet your semantic argument? "
No, how am I bending logic? You have yet to show how my statement about Gnostic beliefs are incorrect.
"This statement is valid because the conclusion logically follows from the premises. This statement cannot be proven. We cannot deduce it's truthfulness... only it's validity. "
I still don't see how the theodicy flows logically from the premises. You'll have to explain that further. Perhaps I don't understand subtlety and nuance in arguments as well as you do, but I am still not convinced of the validity of the theodicy, especially if we're talking about Gnosticism.
"As for the burden of proof being on Christians...how is that even remotely true? Why do Christians have to try to prove anything to anybody? Why do Atheist's have to try to prove anything to anybody? Religion and lack of religion is about CHOICE and that's all it will ever be."
(I AGREE to this)
The christian message is simply put "God is love" and it's not to convert anyone. Only God can do that. I am all for the CHOICE option. There is nothing I can say on this forum that is going to change anybody's mind. You will keep on believing what you do up to now. Esp. if you don't believe. I respect all and hope that whatever your choice in life is now is what really makes you happy
In MY life I have found it true that God exists through "faith". I have had a rough life like many others and at this stage in my life I believe in God without a doubt. That's the choice I have made. Good luck to all.
And most Atheists also try to convert people. So why is it wrong for Christians but not for Atheists?
And I also will tell people if they are wrong...but I will not try to over and over prove a point to them when they just will not listen...what's the point? And I'm sorry but that is a completely assine statement about Scooby Doo...
And a person that teaches their child something wrong is not necessarily brainwashing them they are just ignorant to what is actually true.
Most Atheists also try to convert people...do you have any idea how many people on here without knowing what I do or do not believe have told me that God is a fairy tale? Most people (in general) will try to convert someone to their beliefs...That I do believe is wrong...believe whatever you want...
And to totally change the subject...how on earth did you come up with the religionisgood user name? It really does not fit you.
"You totally misunderstood what I said."
lol, apparently. I do think it's interesting you are so against people telling each other they are wrong, and yet you called toadaly's comparison of God's existence to Scooby Doo's existence "asinine".
No, I just disagree with you about people telling each other they're wrong. Even with opinions, I have every right to telll someone I think their opinion is wrong, and even to do everything I can to discredit that opinion.
A person who believes the earth is flat may be stupid, but he's quite obviously brainwashing his child if he teaches him that. I feel the same way about religious people and their methods of spreading religion.
Your experience with Christianity is not universal. In fact, it's the exception to the rule. Most Christians try to convert people, if given the chance.
Well, I would disagree that most atheists go around trying to convert people. This website is a little different because there is an actual Religion forum, where people can share ideas and talk about these issues openly. But out in society, you see a lot more Christians going around trying to convert people than you do atheists.
As for the rest of your post, it just amazes me how you can continue to insist that comparing God to Scooby Doo is asinine and tell other people they are wrong, yet complain about people telling you God is a fairy tale. You're telling someone else he is wrong, and then getting pissed that other people are telling you that you're wrong.
And, as jimahl said, I was drunk when I created that username. Had I been sober, it probably would have been something like, "religionispoison" :)
"For argument's sake... Why can I not accept God and reject his omnipresence?"
Most of the other attributes associated with God depend first on his being defined as omnipresent. It's hard to support the idea of a god that is all-knowing and all-powerful, unless he is also all-present.
If you define a god as not being omnipresent, I think your alternative is the Old Testament version of God, which is more of a regional deity that is just a somewhat more powerful life form than humans. In other words, a polytheistic view of god. If you have this kind of god, the existence of evil in the world is explained differently, since such gods could clearly carry out acts of both good and evil. But you still have the problem of proving they actually exist.
"You are using semantics heavily in order to justify your position."
Definitions of God, good, and evil seem very relevant to me. And if you're worried about the statement's validity as opposed to its truthfulness, it seems you also are worried about semantics. That's how this whole discussion started.
The NT is not the only source of Gnostic thinking. Not by a long shot. You have a very narrow view of Gnostic beliefs.
A benevolent supreme deity...is not what many Gnostics believe in. A "supreme deity" sounds very monotheistic to me. That was the point I was making in the first place.
And you still have the problem of why good-evil scale is as it is. That problem with the theodicy was never answered.
Honestly, no the "normal Christians" would not be bothered by other people's opinions (at least my parents aren't). And yes I agree that Christians should respect everyone regardless of their opinions. My rants probably seem directed at Atheists because a handful of them seem to be the ones that are putting Christians down for what they believe (which I don't feel is right)...and yes I know the Christians are doing the same thing I just haven't seen it as much.
I just feel that everyone deserves respect regardless of what they believe in. I might not agree with their beliefs but that doesn't mean they should be put down because of it.
with faith he is realy as he made us ofrom his own image:)
he loves us so much that he even gave up his son(jesus) do die for us that when we do bad thing, we just have to ask for forgiviness and he ll forgive us
he live in heave and one day he ll come and take those people that re good and even if they did do some bad things it doesn't matter as long as they as for forgiveness
he ll take those people to heaven and they ll leave happlt ever after:)
it is my hope that me and you ll be one of those people!!! AMEN:)
god is real why would there be a bible? theres prove bc of adam and eve.. && jesus came && died for our sin
&& who sent him god did && it';s better to believe
the not bc what if heaven was real and if you didn't beliveve you would
&& if you do believe and haven isn;t real you don't
lose nothing if god isn't real then how was the earth formed? who formed us? who made us from there hands?
thats why when you go to church and prasie the lord u can feel
his spriate! && I believe in god 100%
"And I'm sorry but that is a completely assine statement about Scooby Doo..."
And some atheists think it is a totally ASININE to believe in an omnipotent being that there is not one shred of imperical evidence exists. Toadally used scooby doo to highlight the idiocy in believing in something so silly. Belief in god to many people is silly.
You need to think outside the box once in a while.
"how on earth did you come up with the religionisgood user name?"
He was drunk...
Yes, God is real not because I think so, but because he is. As far as proof goes, no proof can compare to the sense of peace and satisfaction of having God with you. People may deny god until they die, but without him they are sentanced to a eternity of damnation and hell. By the time you have your "proof", you will have been too late.
We know how the modern western concept of god evolved from solar/astro-theology. It's absurd to think such a mythical being is actually real.
Belief in a real god is no different than belief in a real Scooby Doo, except that scooby doesn't have legions of priests brainwashing children from birth to believe in him.
Unproven. No one can comment b/c everyone sounds ignoant to say there isnt a "god" b/c they cant proove there isnt and no one can say there is b/c theres no real proof or evidence that he is real. Its just in the eye of the believer/ unbeliever
I 100% believe in god. I dont go to church, but I still believe strongly
and for you atheist, you have NO PROOF he DOESNT exist ; )
I guess everyone has their opinion, but I believe when I die god will take care of me because I believe
I dont believe in God and even if I did all the things he did I dont think such a vendictive being is worth worship.
""and for you atheist, you have NO PROOF he DOESNT exist "" In our socity the burden of proof is on you.
Religionisgood said: "You can't define evil as the the total absence of God, because God by definition is omnipresent."
For argument's sake... Why can I not accept God and reject his omnipresence?
It would hurt me because that's not what my beliefs are. Why try and believe in something that you don't. That's ridiculous. You can have your beliefs, but don't sit here and try and convert people.
mcrfan4ever95, you can't prove God IS real! I believe in science, not God! And in a way I worship nature! Life, the world is too complicated for a guy in the sky (hey, that rhymes) to create.
god is real! where do you people think the 1st human came from? another planet? jsut fell out of the sky? no god created everyone just like he did everything else!
"and for you atheist, you have NO PROOF he DOESNT exist"
Nor do you have any proof that fairies and leprechauns don't exist. Do you believe in them?
You can't prove that he does exist. Just as you can't prove that he doesn't. There's no point in trying, because religion = faith, not proof.
Who knows? The way I see it is NO ONE can prove it either way.
And to merriemac...you can't prove that there is no God either.
I guess I probably haven't noticed since it normally doesn't happen with the Christians that I know but I'm sure it happens.
no he does not. and none of you believers can prove it. I suggest you stay atheist.
I'm addressing a post under construction... sorry for any difficulties
Let me allow you some revision time... I'll address later tonight...
ps: no one can really prove this. so haha!
I dont believe. who really knows though.
no one can prove it...so its unknown
I promise you he is 100% real! :)
I believe God is real
I believe he is real!