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Good and Evil


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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

An atheist, by definition has no morality.  How could one?  It’s all about the self.  The old Marxist meme that one civilization is as good as another comes to mind. Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate, as opposed to Western civilization that has given us art and freedom. If one examines history only civilizations that have a belief system in a higher power have contributed anything.  And the civilization that has contributed the most believes in the Judeo-Christian ethic. 
Your morality decisions are rooted in the ethic you grew up with from a child. But the reality is that an atheist does what feels good for them at the time. 

This is truly one of the most ethnocentric, repulsive posts I've ever read on this board. In what way are Central African tribes totally degenerate? Also, please define "civilization".  I think you need to educate yourself on humans in general. As a species, human have a certain "morality". We see altruistic and cruel, selfish behaviors cross-culturally in all societies--it's part of being human--not a part of being Jewish or Christian. 

"But the reality is that an atheist does what feels good for them at the time."   This is an outrageous generalization.

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First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my questions. I am trying to understand if your position makes any sense.  This concept of "the devil made me do it" or maybe the watered down version of "the devil influenced me to do it" doesn't really work for me.  I am still not convinced of your position.   But obviously some have give significant weight to what Satan and his minions do in their lives.  

7 hours ago, Calm said:

People are tempted by other people around them trying to influence them, so if there are humans that lack physical bodies that are still capable of interacting in some fashion with humans who possess physical bodies, then I see no reason that they would not also try to tempt/influence for good or evil other humans.

I do want to comment on what Calm wrote.  I totally agree that people are tempted and influenced by other people around them.  I actually think THIS is the basis for persuading us to do good or evil.  But I find a HUGE difference between reading, or viewing other points of view and weighing their significants on our lives to some unseen, unheard, mystical feeling.  So I don't think that influence can be automatically assumed to occur by a being lacking a physical body that has no ability to write or physically express thought.  Maybe it is just me, but I have never felt some diabolical monologue that influenced me in the same way a physical person uses to persuade me to their beliefs.   Sorry, I just can't compare the two ideas as being equivalent.

 

7 hours ago, Calm said:

Humans like to have influence on others, whether to help them, to create a more desirable environment to live in, to feel superior, to get a power trip, or something else.  I don’t see why that would change simply because someone lacks a body anymore than it would change if we lost the ability to speak. We would simply find other ways to persuade. 
 

I don’t see it as demons whose only function is to swarm around mortals whispering to their spirits “sin, sin, sin, you know you want to...”.  I see it as more likely what happens between mortals, in our own activities we try to persuade others to follow or support us because we want something from them. 

Now this part, I can get behind completely.  I do believe it is humans trying to exert their wishes or beliefs or influence on others for good or for evil.  This occurs constantly in our lives.  The books we read, the movies we watch, the news we listen to, and even the discussion boards we participate in.  I just don't see Satan and his minions involved in all of this.  I am constantly filtering the messages I get every minute of my life.  Can I believe that concept?  Do I reject that idea? And sometimes, I neither reject or embrace the idea.  It is more neutral.  But it is the validity of the concept that causes me to accept or reject, not some whisper in my ear from some minion of Satan.

Since leaving the Church, I have evaluated a lot of the teachings that I had been taught since childhood.  Some I continue to embrace.  I find them valid and important in my life.  Others, I reject as actually being true.  And then there are a whole lot that I am neutral about.  Has Satan influenced me on the part I have rejected?  Has God and his minions influenced me to hang on to the ones I still believe in?  Or have I just pondered the pros and cons of the issues and found some wanting and others valid.  It is the facts and logic that have persuaded me not some whispering in my ear.

I guess now, those that believe in the influence of Satan in their lives have to decide if the points I have raised are valid or if it is a diabolical scheme to lead you to do evil. 

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55 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Again, you can just ask me how I build my moral framework. It would be more meaningful than you just imagining how I do.

I was not imagining how you built your moral framework but merely commenting on how moral frameworks are generally developed. With subjective morality it does not matter how a moral framework is developed. It just matters that words and actions made via that framework are allowed in the culture that it exists. Reference my note on cannibals.

Glenn

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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

An atheist, by definition has no morality.  How could one?  It’s all about the self.  The old Marxist meme that one civilization is as good as another comes to mind. Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate, as opposed to Western civilization that has given us art and freedom. If one examines history only civilizations that have a belief system in a higher power have contributed anything.  And the civilization that has contributed the most believes in the Judeo-Christian ethic. 
Your morality decisions are rooted in the ethic you grew up with from a child. But the reality is that an atheist does what feels good for them at the time. 

I also find your post incredibly troubling.  I especially find this line unsettling.  "Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate". Maybe you could give us an example of what you consider totally degenerate in their civilizations.  What do you even know about these African civilizations that you so profoundly condemn as being totally degenerate?  And what documentation do you have that leads you to believe they did not have a belief in a higher power?

 

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9 minutes ago, california boy said:

I guess now, those that believe in the influence of Satan in their lives have to decide if the points I have raised are valid or if it is a diabolical scheme to lead you to do evil.

Hehe.. 😀  I enjoy your thoughtful questions. I think its possible to believe that evil exists and that Satan is the spirit-personification of evil.  I tend to believe that evil only exists when humans are present. And in many ways, we determine what is evil. For instance, is killing evil? Many animals instinctually kill  and no one considers that evil. Humans kill and it depends on the circumstances whether or not it's evil. The genes of the person also will help determine whether or not they are likely to even be capable of killing. Satan could whisper in my ear all day to kill you and it wouldn't do any good because I don't have the predisposition to kill (except likely in self defense or in defense of a child). He could whisper in my ear to eat that chocolate chip cookie and he would win every time but I'm predisposed to like sweet, fatty foods so how can I give him the credit? Maybe our instincts are Satan. My thoughts are similar to yours in that I use my own brain to make choices and decide what I'm going to do, although my instincts sometimes win and I make a bad choice. Our brains are truly magnificent things.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Again, as I said to MrMarklin, you can just ask me how I build my moral framework. It would be more meaningful than you just imagining how I do.

Moral compass that hopefully hasn't been screwed up by people changing it.

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1 hour ago, Glenn101 said:

 

I was not imagining how you built your moral framework but merely commenting on how moral frameworks are generally developed. With subjective morality it does not matter how a moral framework is developed. It just matters that words and actions made via that framework are allowed in the culture that it exists. Reference my note on cannibals.

Glenn

What you said would apply to theists as well, as there's no non-subjective commentary about what God might have deemed regarding morality. That said, there can be a reasonable basis for morality without the need for a God concept, and one which is seen repeated throughout history and in different belief systems, like the many versions of the Golden Rule.

A robust moral framework can be available to any conscious, reasonable person who values life.

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is correct to say that God is not the author of evil, but only because He is incapable of authoring evil.  He has no such power.  Likewise, a natural God in a natural universe cannot quash evil.  When one-third of His children rebelled, He could not stop their free choice.  He could only mourn.

In technical terms, God the Father is only one in an infinity of Gods who have no beginning and will have no end.  He is not the only Necessary Being, and Creation was organized by Him from preexisting materials.  He does good.  Some other Necessary Beings (us, for example) can do evil or good, as we choose.  He can cajole us not to do evil, and present a Plan of Salvation to us which will attenuate the evil we do.  But good and evil are permanent fixtures of our existence, ad infinitum.

I do not believe your position is supported by scripture. There is but ONE true God,  Unchanging, Everlasting. Almighty,  Omniscient and Omnipotent. There are other beings, created by Him an ion ago, on a path to progression but they are not like Him. 

There is a point of origin for the universe. At that point, an intelligence that was outside time and space, caused the universe to come into existence. That is the One True God. 

Like I said before, nothing is outside of the sphere of influence of the ONE true God. Agency is an indispensable part of love. Without free will there can never be true love. So, yes, He mourned the fall of a third of His children although He knew from before He created them that such would be the events in question. Those that disobeyed proved that they loved power, ambition and dominion more than their Father. And like so will be the fate of those that came to earth. Some will be saved, most will be lost by their own free will.  

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5 hours ago, california boy said:

But I find a HUGE difference between reading, or viewing other points of view and weighing their significants on our lives to some unseen, unheard, mystical feeling.  

I am not talking about us seeking out different ideas from those around us, but how our friends and family interact with us when pressuring us into behaving in immoral ways...mostly petty by making snide comments, daring us to make trouble, trying to get us to shoplift with them, cut school, cheat on homework, have an affair, etc.  Whatever might be going on with other spirits interacting with our own, I wouldn't call it mystical, but quite carnal...the natural man.  If spirits are a different form of matter, our spirits may have awareness of things our brain does not...something along the lines of even though our eyes may not be able to view certain frequencies of light, other parts of our body are 'aware' of them, react to them and get sunburn, for example.

Edited by Calm
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7 minutes ago, Islander said:

There are other beings, created by Him an ion ago, on a path to progression but they are not like Him. 

Are you Latter-day Saint or another type of Christian?  

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

Like I said before, nothing is outside of the sphere of influence of the ONE true God. Agency is an indispensable part of love. Without free will there can never be true love. So, yes, He mourned the fall of a third of His children although He knew from before He created them that such would be the events in question. Those that disobeyed proved that they loved power, ambition and dominion more than their Father. And like so will be the fate of those that came to earth. Some will be saved, most will be lost by their own free will.  

This is the very reason I have no desire to be exalted. Nothing about creating children only to lose them forever sounds very heavenly to me.

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5 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

This is the very reason I have no desire to be exalted. Nothing about creating children only to lose them forever sounds very heavenly to me.

No different than in the temporal realm. We bring children into the world and inspite of all our diligence and efforts,  some may chose a path away from the Gospel that may cause us to grieve. 

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4 minutes ago, Islander said:

No different than in the temporal realm. We bring children into the world and inspite of all our diligence and efforts,  some may chose a path away from the Gospel that may cause us to grieve. 

Hugely different. I still enjoy their company a couple days a week. 

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6 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Hugely different. I still enjoy their company a couple days a week. 

You can and you should, for we never stop hoping, right? For the hand of the Lord is stretched out still.  It may grieve you,  nonetheless, to see then do things that are sinful and contrary to the will of God. Not that different. God loves us and His love is not diminished by His grief. 

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

I do not believe your position is supported by scripture. There is but ONE true God,  Unchanging, Everlasting. Almighty,  Omniscient and Omnipotent. There are other beings, created by Him an ion ago, on a path to progression but they are not like Him. 

There is a point of origin for the universe. At that point, an intelligence that was outside time and space, caused the universe to come into existence. That is the One True God. 

The version of God held to by normative Judeo-Christian-Muslim theology is based on sophisticated Greek philosophy, not on Scripture.  That normative Greek philosophy argues that God is the First Cause, that He created the universe and space-time from nothing, and that everything is completely dependent (Contingent) upon Him.  He is the only Necessary Being.  The logical problem with such an unscriptural claim is that it leaves God responsible for all evil, and it destroys free will.  The existence of such a God is a contradiction in terms (paradox), leading many observers to postulate the "death of God."

1 hour ago, Islander said:

Like I said before, nothing is outside of the sphere of influence of the ONE true God. Agency is an indispensable part of love. Without free will there can never be true love. So, yes, He mourned the fall of a third of His children although He knew from before He created them that such would be the events in question. Those that disobeyed proved that they loved power, ambition and dominion more than their Father. And like so will be the fate of those that came to earth. Some will be saved, most will be lost by their own free will.  

Biblical Hebrew scholars agree that Genesis 1 depicts the creation from preexisting materials, not creatio ex nihilo.  LDS theology agrees, and also posits that all human beings are Necessary beings -- which are coeternal with God.  In other words, all humans are of the same genus and species as God.  Only on that basis do we possess free will.  And most will be saved by means of the Atonement and Plan of Salvation.  God's primary concern is to bring us all back safely.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

What you said would apply to theists as well, as there's no non-subjective commentary about what God might have deemed regarding morality.

True, if you do not believe in God, that He has provided details about a universal, objective moral framework.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

That said, there can be a reasonable basis for morality without the need for a God concept, and one which is seen repeated throughout history and in different belief systems, like the many versions of the Golden Rule.

Do not those different belief systems include a belief in some type of deity? Then you have the Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky trio who "invited" people to join their reasonable basis for morality excluding the need for a god. And then my favorite tribe of cannibals that would invite you to discuss moral concepts just before dinner.

3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

A robust moral framework can be available to any conscious, reasonable person who values life.

Oh, I agree that a person can develop a robust moral framework, but you are adding a caveat, i.e. that one must value life in order to do so. Why must one value life in order to develop a moral framework? And then your moral compass may conflict with that of another person or even society. Who is the arbiter when cultures with different morality values collide. Right now it is the one that wins the inevitable conflict.

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5 hours ago, katherine the great said:

This is truly one of the most ethnocentric, repulsive posts I've ever read on this board. In what way are Central African tribes totally degenerate? Also, please define "civilization".  I think you need to educate yourself on humans in general. As a species, human have a certain "morality". We see altruistic and cruel, selfish behaviors cross-culturally in all societies--it's part of being human--not a part of being Jewish or Christian. 

"But the reality is that an atheist does what feels good for them at the time."   This is an outrageous generalization.

Please read the journals of the early explorations of the British and their descriptions of some of the tribes and their leaders in Central Africa. It’s you who needs the history lesson. 
I understand enough about human nature to know that Joseph Stalin, who was educated in a seminary, became a Marxist. He understood enough to realize that he would have to become an atheist to march Down that road. 
He became one of the world’s biggest degenerates. 
You need to grow up. Only a belief in a higher power prevents us from becoming totally carnal, sensual and devilish. 
An atheist does not have this, or any foundation. Hence degeneracy. 
What you now believe is innate goodness is a product of the Christian Jude ethic with which you were raised. 

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5 hours ago, california boy said:

I also find your post incredibly troubling.  I especially find this line unsettling.  "Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate". Maybe you could give us an example of what you consider totally degenerate in their civilizations.  What do you even know about these African civilizations that you so profoundly condemn as being totally degenerate?  And what documentation do you have that leads you to believe they did not have a belief in a higher power?

 

The tribes have essentially been converted to Christianity now. But back in the day it was a survival of the fittest among many tribes. See my reply to Katherine. 
I should have used past tense. 

Edited by mrmarklin
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11 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

An atheist, by definition has no morality.  How could one?  It’s all about the self.  The old Marxist meme that one civilization is as good as another comes to mind. Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate, as opposed to Western civilization that has given us art and freedom. If one examines history only civilizations that have a belief system in a higher power have contributed anything.  And the civilization that has contributed the most believes in the Judeo-Christian ethic. 
Your morality decisions are rooted in the ethic you grew up with from a child. But the reality is that an atheist does what feels good for them at the time. 

This is ridiculous. The Judeo-Christian ethic is not the only one that has given art and freedom. Given the choice of being a Central African tribesman or a serf in medieval Europe the Central African tribesman has more freedom. Art is also everywhere. We have never found a culture without it so I am not sure what you are talking about there. As to freedom Christian civilizations have not been, as a rule, particularly free until a few centuries ago and that freedom that swept the Americas and Europe came primarily from classical sources and the examples of pagan Greece and Rome. Economic, political, and religious freedom is not a general Christian ideal. Look into how far back it was that the Catholic Church endorsed the idea that the right to choose one’s faith is important. The Protestant breakoffs were not much more free. The Orthodox churches also did not endorse religious liberty. Political freedom started slowly with the nobility and worked its way down slowly. It wasn’t until the American and French revolutions that it started to reach the masses and the Christian world was pretty disgusted with it. The Napoleonic Wars were virtually all defensive wars with France trying to prevent the other European nations from defeating it and reinstalling a monarchy. They knew that the “cancer” of freedom could easily spread. For the bulk of history Christianity has been a strong supporter of the equivalent of the king-men faction of the Book of Mormon.

The idea that atheists cannot have a morality is stupid and objectively wrong. In the ancient world the pagan gods of Greece and Rome were amoral at best. The Roman moral systems like stoicism and the like existed independently of their religion. You also have to deal with the reality of the world. You have atheists all around you and they are not all trying to murder, rape, and steal from you. They are not all lawless crazies. Tomorrow if you somehow discovered proof that there is no God (all the religious experiences were found to be caused by orbiting alien mind control lasers) would you start living a life of abject debauchery?

I agree that in the absolute sense there would be no impulse for good in us outside of the Light of Christ but everyone has that. Claiming that atheists cannot be moral is denying the doctrine of the church about the light of Christ being given to all. Repent of your heresy!

Edited by The Nehor
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6 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Please read the journals of the early explorations of the British and their descriptions of some of the tribes and their leaders in Central Africa.

Yeah, because there would be no bias or misunderstanding based on miscommunications on their part or the need of some to justify their desires for conquest. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The version of God held to by normative Judeo-Christian-Muslim theology is based on sophisticated Greek philosophy, not on Scripture.  That normative Greek philosophy argues that God is the First Cause, that He created the universe and space-time from nothing, and that everything is completely dependent (Contingent) upon Him.  He is the only Necessary Being.  The logical problem with such an unscriptural claim is that it leaves God responsible for all evil, and it destroys free will.  The existence of such a God is a contradiction in terms (paradox), leading many observers to postulate the "death of God."

Biblical Hebrew scholars agree that Genesis 1 depicts the creation from preexisting materials, not creatio ex nihilo.  LDS theology agrees, and also posits that all human beings are Necessary beings -- which are coeternal with God.  In other words, all humans are of the same genus and species as God.  Only on that basis do we possess free will.  And most will be saved by means of the Atonement and Plan of Salvation.  God's primary concern is to bring us all back safely.

I do not agree with that position. Agency is inextricable from love. Without free will love can not possibly exist. The possibility of non-love must be present in order for love to emerge. So, right form the start, the dichotomy surfaces.  It is impossible to find evil without good being defined and evil is the result of disobedience, which is made possible because of free will.  That does not make God the author of evil.

A multiverse or eternally existing universe can not be supported or proven from a logical or philosophical standpoint. The universe is expanding and from the rate of expansion we can extrapolate a point of origin. Joseph, just like the Apostle John, possibly lacked the language or ability to fully comprehend what he saw. It is not uncommon. Not everything has been not will it be revealed in this dispensation..  

We are the offspring of God. Endowed with intellect, free will and potential. But from a temporal standpoint, that is where all similarities end. The Eternal and spiritual potential do not bear on our temporal experience except from an aspirational standpoint. We are guided by the scriptures, revelation and symbols/rituals as tangible cues of our potential and destiny of what we are to become. But God remains completely distinct from us, in essence and attributes.  

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23 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

True, if you do not believe in God, that He has provided details about a universal, objective moral framework.

Anyone can believe that they have access to an objective, moral framework, theist or not. That said, a theist's belief that their beliefs are objective does not make them so.  

24 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Do not those different belief systems include a belief in some type of deity?

Not necessarily.

24 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Then you have the Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky trio who "invited" people to join their reasonable basis for morality excluding the need for a god.

And? The existence of immoral atheists does not mean that all atheists are immoral, just as the existence of immoral theists does not make all theists immoral.

29 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

And then my favorite tribe of cannibals that would invite you to discuss moral concepts just before dinner.

This is just a weird example. Are you saying that all cannibals throughout history were atheists? Are you saying that no theists are cannibals?

Are you saying that without god, humanity will just turn to cannibalism? Are you saying that there is no objective standard that can prevent people from eating human flesh? How about this one: "Don't be a cannibal." There ya go. No theism required, either.

29 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Oh, I agree that a person can develop a robust moral framework, but you are adding a caveat, i.e. that one must value life in order to do so. 

And? There's nothing about my original thesis that prevents me from "adding a caveat," or iow providing more details about how an atheist can have a moral framework. 

36 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Why must one value life in order to develop a moral framework?

I didn't say "must," but in my moral framework as an atheist, I value life. Do you think that atheists cannot value life? Do you think that valuing life cannot be done reasonably? 

38 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Who is the arbiter when cultures with different morality values collide. 

Moral systems can exist which offer mutual benefit to both combining cultures.

42 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Right now it is the one that wins the inevitable conflict.

That is a certainly a difficulty that many theocratic nations have faced and continued to face. Theism does not solve that problem.

51 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Right now it is the one that wins the inevitable conflict.

And nope, not necessarily. There are nations and communities which collaborate peacefully to jointly produce their moral codes and public contracts, doing so independent of religious belief. 

My moral code is quite accessible. It starts with acknowledging that I exist and others exist. Then I also acknowledge that I want to be treated like a person by others and that therefore I can help create a world where others treat me like a person by myself treating others like individuals just as real as me. It's not esoteric, but it provides the principle upon which all kinds of humane relationships can form between the individual and society and between respective individuals. 

By the way, it makes room for the freedom to believe, too, so it makes room for theism. It is inclusive and it does not depend on one person's or one group's interpretation of what God/s have said.

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21 hours ago, Islander said:

Now it does. God is NOT the author of evil. He allows evil to occur, at times which suits His purposes, but He is incapable of doing evil. Satan is the father of evil from the beginning. Now evil is part of the natural man and present within humanity. 

If you have all power then allowing evil is endorsing evil. This is a common theological problem. It is even harsher in our own faith because we deny that it can be justified by the Fall.

Would you think someone good who refused medical aid to someone suffering by crossing their arms in front of them and insisting they did not actually cause it so it is not their fault when they could fix it? One of the problems I wrestle with is God insisting on everything good coming from Him and everything evil coming from darker sources. If He could prevent it and does not He is choosing to allow evil to continue. Imagine a teacher that allows some students to bully others right in front of them while insisting that they are not the ones doing it so it is really not on them. It makes God a powerful being with a warped sense of responsibility. You can say that evil is allowed as long as it leads to a greater good but that makes for a potentially horrifying version of heaven where anything is allowed as long as it leads to a greater good.

I have only found one way out of this trap and I don’t like it but I am more and more convinced it is accurate. On the other hand it makes the Fall and Christ’s atonement even more critical and more of a sacrifice that it makes me suspect it is true. Then again I am a pessimist. Maybe there is a better way.

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10 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

This is ridiculous. The Judeo-Christian ethic is not the only one that has given art and freedom. Given the choice of being a Central African tribesman or a serf in medieval Europe the Central African tribesman has more freedom. Art is also everywhere. We have never found a culture without it so I am not sure what you are talking about there. As to freedom Christian civilizations have not been, as a rule, particularly free until a few centuries ago and that freedom that swept the Americas and Europe came primarily from classical sources and the examples of pagan Greece and Rome. Economic, political, and religious freedom is not a general Christian ideal. Look into how far back it was that the Catholic Church endorsed the idea that the right to choose one’s faith is important. The Protestant breakoffs were not much more free. The Orthodox churches also did not endorse religious liberty. Political freedom started slowly with the nobility and worked its way down slowly. It wasn’t until the American and French revolutions that it started to reach the masses and the Christian world was pretty disgusted with it. The Napoleonic Wars were virtually all defensive wars with France trying to prevent the other European nations from defeating it and reinstalling a monarchy. They knew that the “cancer” of freedom could easily spread. For the bulk of history Christianity has been a strong supporter of the equivalent of the king-men faction of the Book of Mormon.

The idea that atheists cannot have a morality is stupid and objectively wrong. In the ancient world the pagan gods of Greece and Rome were amoral at best. Their moral systems like stoicism and the like existed independently of their religion. You also have to deal with the reality of the world. You have atheists all around you and they are not all trying to murder, rape, and steal from you. They are not all lawless crazies. Tomorrow if you somehow discovered proof that there is no God (all the religious experiences were found to be caused by orbiting alien mind control lasers) would you start living a life of abject debauchery?

I agree that in the absolute sense there would be no impulse for good in us outside of the Light of Christ but everyone has that. Claiming that atheists cannot be moral is denying the doctrine of the church about the light of Christ being given to all. Repent of your heresy!

Nehor , you’re a good guy  .   But hopelessly naive. 
 

There is a book titled Civilization by Niall Ferguson that explains a lot. Please read it. 
As a matter of fact, everybody on this forum should read it. It puts a lot in perspective. 

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7 minutes ago, Islander said:

I do not agree with that position. Agency is inextricable from love. Without free will love can not possibly exist. The possibility of non-love must be present in order for love to emerge. So, right form the start, the dichotomy surfaces.  It is impossible to find evil without good being defined and evil is the result of disobedience, which is made possible because of free will.  That does not make God the author of evil.

A multiverse or eternally existing universe can not be supported or proven from a logical or philosophical standpoint. The universe is expanding and from the rate of expansion we can extrapolate a point of origin. Joseph, just like the Apostle John, possibly lacked the language or ability to fully comprehend what he saw. It is not uncommon. Not everything has been not will it be revealed in this dispensation..  

We are the offspring of God. Endowed with intellect, free will and potential. But from a temporal standpoint, that is where all similarities end. The Eternal and spiritual potential do not bear on our temporal experience except from an aspirational standpoint. We are guided by the scriptures, revelation and symbols/rituals as tangible cues of our potential and destiny of what we are to become. But God remains completely distinct from us, in essence and attributes.  

One quibble. There is no point of origin for the Universe if you subscribe to the Big Bang theory. There is no origin point. The Big Bang occurred, in essence, everywhere. I can claim it happened in the couch cushion I am sitting on right now and I am just as right as if I had picked any other point. It is horribly unintuitive. You cannot really picture it. All we really have is math and very imperfect words like “explosion” and “expansion” and some visual representations but they are all, to some degree, inaccurate.

If you do not subscribe to that theory then I have no idea what you are talking about so ignore this.

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