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Good and Evil


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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

No its not.  Its simply ad hoc and apologetic (which really is just the assumption is the conclusion).  There's no reason to think that a something that caused the BB is a god, transcendant and all of that, except, and this is important as I see it, you assume God first.  

"It" has to be beyond time and space to create time and space. The only thing in the human record that points to such "thing" that is both,  intelligent and capable of creative power is God. I understand that secularists cringe at the notion, but it is rather more probable than something came from nothing.

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On 9/6/2020 at 11:33 AM, strappinglad said:

Is the battle between ' Good ' and 'Evil ' and eternal one, that is , never-ending, has always existed, will always exist ?

I think the answer depends on WHERE you are talking about.   There is no unclean thing where our Father lives, partly because he does not tolerate it and partly because unclean things can't tolerate being near him.

But if you're talking just in general terms, as in anywhere in the universe, sure there has always been a need for a place for unclean things to be, since some things that are created get to choose how they will be.

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Or is it created as needed for  each creation?

By "it" I suppose you mean battle, and yes battles are created when there is opposition.

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We are told Satan will eventually be bound but is that permanent or temporary ?

Temporary, in an overall sense, but permanent in some places.  So again the answer depends on where you are talking about.

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Then again we are told that " there needs be opposition in all things " /

Yes, must needs be

Edited by Ahab
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21 minutes ago, Islander said:

"It" has to be beyond time and space to create time and space. The only thing in the human record that points to such "thing" that is both,  intelligent and capable of creative power is God. I understand that secularists cringe at the notion, but it is rather more probable than something came from nothing.

I hear William Lane Craig's arguments through your typing.  I don't think there is any good reason to conclude "the only thing in the human record that points to such "thing" that is both, intelligent and capable of creative power is God". 

God is not in the human record.  

Intelligent is a questionable adjective but also not a requirement for something to cause the Big Bang.  That's merely assumption.

Capable doesn't really mean much here either. 

My take, anyways.  

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5 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Not sure what question I failed to answer. I rebutted some of her more silly assertions.  Most of you are so ignorant of history and human endeavor that it’s like arguing with my seven year old grandson. 
The idea that anyone here on this forum came up totally independently with their own “Good” morality is absurd on its face. 
The idea that an atheist, who denies God, has any framework to propagate anything that is other than selfishness is also rather silly.  The most famous atheists of our day have spent their time enslaving people for their own benefit. These ideas are not original with me, but go back to, and probably before the Enlightenment. 

Well we are so lucky to have such a brilliant all knowing person on this board that can enlighten us with gobble gook that makes him think he is intelligent when he can't even answer the questions asked of him.  And evidently can't even figure out what the question was.  

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If there is no God and no purpose to the universe, then the thoughts and feelings we have are neither good nor bad.  In fact, all value judgments would then be nonsensical and irrelevant.  Only the laws of the jungle and of entropy would apply.  Bertrand Russell admitted up front that his personal preferences aside, one could not logically say that Stalin's Soviet Union was better or worse than the U.K.  If the so-called "light of Christ" is merely a matter of fairy faith, then it has no more value than the childish hope that the tooth fairy will come and compensate us.

Do you mean:  If there is no greater being than the kind of being we are?  Even if that I'm still not seeing how your statement is true.

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6 minutes ago, california boy said:

Well we are so lucky to have such a brilliant all knowing person on this board that can enlighten us with gobble gook that makes him think he is intelligent when he can't even answer the questions asked of him.  And evidently can't even figure out what the question was.  

I believe the correct term is "gobbledy gook'.  language that is meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of abstruse technical terms; nonsense.

And gobbledy gook is not what is making him think he is intelligent.  Gobbledy gook doesn't have the power to do that.

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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

31 And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great asecret, that I may bmurder and get cgain. Wherefore Cain was called Master dMahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.

This is the wickedness , the ability/desire to convert life into property , that many ,both religious and non-religious , have espoused throughout history. 

As Moses said, " now I know that man is nothing "  But man sure is capable of wrecking a lot of something.

It's pretty neat imo that Cain's actions are not supported by the Golden Rule. Further, I wonder if anyone here can give an example of righteousness that is not supported by it.

FTR, I believe in the Golden Rule with a little bit extra, just in case anyone wants to examine the point.

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2 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It's pretty neat imo that Cain's actions are not supported by the Golden Rule. Further, I wonder if anyone here can give an example of righteousness that is not supported by it.

FTR, I believe in the Golden Rule with a little bit extra, just in case anyone wants to examine the point.

The Platinum Rule, maybe?  I've heard that term tossed around in Customer Service type seminars.  Do unto others as they want you to do unto them.

Sometimes that can result in injustice, however, so I don't believe in applying that rule universally and arbitrarily.

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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Do you seriously want to compare Western civilization with cannibals, headhunters, etc?  Many of these tribes were at the Animal Farm level. Survival of the fittest. 

LOL! You do realize Animal Farm is an allegory about a western civilization right? It is about authoritarian communism, a European concept.

Or did you mean Lord of the Flies? 

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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If there is no God and no purpose to the universe, then the thoughts and feelings we have are neither good nor bad.  In fact, all value judgments would then be nonsensical and irrelevant.  Only the laws of the jungle and of entropy would apply.  Bertrand Russell admitted up front that his personal preferences aside, one could not logically say that Stalin's Soviet Union was better or worse than the U.K.  If the so-called "light of Christ" is merely a matter of fairy faith, then it has no more value than the childish hope that the tooth fairy will come and compensate us.

I disagree with Bertrand Russell there. I would take the emotional states of those living in them into account and run a comparison of joy and suffering to figure out which is better. Of course that is not strictly quantifiable but it is a starting point. I suppose you can argue that pain being evil and pleasure being good are just opinions but they are opinions almost universally agreed upon and those who do not agree are often sadists and masochists who derive pleasure from said pain.

The idea that God revealed some morality is dubious to me. Jesus did not bring a new morality. There is no moral proposition he taught that was novel. He had some extremes of emphasis that shocked some listeners but that is not saying it is new. The laws of morality are the same in every society. Some just have messed up rankings of the various laws. How many societies endorse cowardice? Believe being cruel for the sake of being cruel is a good thing. If there is cruelty there is always some justification. It may be a bad justification but it is there. If one has to believe in God to have any morality then followers of God should seem utterly foreign to everyone else. I am not talking “peculiar”; I mean downright alien. I have friends with no religious affiliation that comprehend why I do what I do. Where does belief in God create this morality?

As to the oft-repeated refrain that without God it is logical not to have any morality we have the whole of human history to counter that point. Even if it were a logical proposition (I do not believe it is) humans are not driven primarily by reason. I know of a few atheists that have told me that if I genuinely believed my religion I would work night and day all day spreading it and practicing it to the point of exhaustion and would focus on nothing else. There is logic to that statement but I am human and could not tolerate that kind of schedule for long.

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6 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Not sure what question I failed to answer. I rebutted some of her more silly assertions.  Most of you are so ignorant of history and human endeavor that it’s like arguing with my seven year old grandson. 
The idea that anyone here on this forum came up totally independently with their own “Good” morality is absurd on its face. 
The idea that an atheist, who denies God, has any framework to propagate anything that is other than selfishness is also rather silly.  The most famous atheists of our day have spent their time enslaving people for their own benefit. These ideas are not original with me, but go back to, and probably before the Enlightenment. 

https://time.com/5171819/christianity-slavery-book-excerpt/

I'd feel safer with an Atheist that takes the bible with a grain of salt vs. the person that believes every word. 

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2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I know of a few atheists that have told me that if I genuinely believed my religion I would work night and day all day spreading it and practicing it to the point of exhaustion and would focus on nothing else. There is logic to that statement but I am human and could not tolerate that kind of schedule for long.

Yeah, I tried that for a little while and the reason I stopped doing it 24/7 as much as I could was because I saw that it really wasn't doing much good.  Just as our full-time elders and sisters aren't doing much good even though they are going at it pretty much 24/7.  It does do some good for the people who do it, themselves, but for those who are trying to help others find the truth it generally doesn't take very long to see that it's not doing much good to look for those others and there aren't many new benefits from continuing to look for them so after a while you get the message that it is something that each person pretty much needs to do for him or her self.  Those who seek more truth and more of what is good generally find what they are looking for but when trying to find people who are trying to find what is good or true the field has been pretty much harvested already except for people who are recently born and it usually doesn't take them very long to find what they are looking fr as long as they are looking which pretty much just leaves the ones who aren't interested in finding any more than they have already found on their own.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I disagree with Bertrand Russell there. I would take the emotional states of those living in them into account and run a comparison of joy and suffering to figure out which is better. Of course that is not strictly quantifiable but it is a starting point. I suppose you can argue that pain being evil and pleasure being good are just opinions but they are opinions almost universally agreed upon and those who do not agree are often sadists and masochists who derive pleasure from said pain.

The idea that God revealed some morality is dubious to me. Jesus did not bring a new morality. There is no moral proposition he taught that was novel. He had some extremes of emphasis that shocked some listeners but that is not saying it is new. The laws of morality are the same in every society. Some just have messed up rankings of the various laws. How many societies endorse cowardice? Believe being cruel for the sake of being cruel is a good thing. If there is cruelty there is always some justification. It may be a bad justification but it is there. If one has to believe in God to have any morality then followers of God should seem utterly foreign to everyone else. I am not talking “peculiar”; I mean downright alien. I have friends with no religious affiliation that comprehend why I do what I do. Where does belief in God create this morality?

As to the oft-repeated refrain that without God it is logical not to have any morality we have the whole of human history to counter that point. Even if it were a logical proposition (I do not believe it is) humans are not driven primarily by reason. I know of a few atheists that have told me that if I genuinely believed my religion I would work night and day all day spreading it and practicing it to the point of exhaustion and would focus on nothing else. There is logic to that statement but I am human and could not tolerate that kind of schedule for long.

Anthropologists examine a wide variety of cultures and try to describe them accurately.  Psychologists likewise describe human behavior across a broad range.  Philosophers speculate, and religious practitioners probe the meaning of life, just as you do here, Nehor, but all to no avail.

In the end, despite some shining moments, the truth about the human experience is as bestial as any troop of chimpanzees on the hunt to kill and eat fellow chimps.  Even the most sophisticated and culturally advanced humans of the 20th century turned on each other, committing the most horrific crimes which we can imagine -- afterward going to attend a performance of Wagner's "Tannhäuser" at Bayreuth, with Herr Hitler.

 

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5 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I don't agree at all. 

It's ironic that with such a naturalistic view of God, you say this. If a higher being can create purpose in the entire universe, then albeit less powerful but still powerful beings can create purpose, too, in our respective lives. What in your view is so special about God that makes the difference between purpose or no purpose, between good and bad, or no good and bad?

God does not create purpose in the universe.  He is master and practitioner of universal law, a law which precedes His entry into celestial dignity.  For Him at least, there is a real difference between good and evil.  For us lesser beings, the distinction is not so clear.  We have to feel our way by experience and by consultation with the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps, when we are more evolved, such distinctions may become more clear -- say in the Resurrection -- but until then we see through a glass darkly.

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3 hours ago, Ahab said:

Do you mean:  If there is no greater being than the kind of being we are?  Even if that I'm still not seeing how your statement is true.

Some people believe that God sets all the rules, and establishes goodness.  If there is no God, how are such rules established?  That is the question we are addressing.

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56 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

we see through a glass darkly.

tangent here. I read somewhere that the word here translated " glass " can also mean " mirror " . If so, that adds to the interpretation and suggests we see what we are or as we are. 

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6 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I hear William Lane Craig's arguments through your typing.  I don't think there is any good reason to conclude "the only thing in the human record that points to such "thing" that is both, intelligent and capable of creative power is God". 

God is not in the human record.  

Intelligent is a questionable adjective but also not a requirement for something to cause the Big Bang.  That's merely assumption.

Capable doesn't really mean much here either. 

My take, anyways.  

This is an old argument. I meant human recorded history. You have, some 5000 years ago a nomadic tribe that just invented a God like no other in recorded history? A perfect God, omniscient,  omnipotent, just, righteous, without flaw, eternal and, since then, the belief that He created all things. Couple that with  an earth and ecosystem like no other within billions on light-years, in perfect balance and capable of sustaining intelligent life. 

I will leave you with a quote from David Berlinski who is an atheist/agnostic but rather intellectually honest,  contrary to the likes of Dawkins 

"Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on".

David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

 

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22 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I am not satisfied with the solution you gave and if my fallen and sinful reasoning makes my reasoning incorrect I should give up reason altogether. I accept that there may be some solution beyond my ability to grasp but you either didn't give it or your mind is so far beyond mine that I missed it.

Actually the consensus explanation for why the Big Bang occurred is "No idea". There are some interesting theories ranging from God to multiverses but they are not empirically provable or disprovable. The Big Bang theory does not purport to explain why it happened. How would we even come up for an explanation as to what caused space and time to exist? We have no model for it. We don't even have math for it.

It doesn't negate everything we know about matter and energy. It admits its ignorance. Filling areas of ignorance entirely with "God did it" might, in some cases, be correct but arguing that God must have done it because we have no explanation is silly.

God is a Holy God, a Just and Righteous God and an omniscient God. He does not do random. An inextricable part of His creation is love which can not exist without free will.  The fact that He allows evil does not make Him the author or creator of evil. We would not know what is good if evil did not exist. How can we chose righteousness if unrighteousness is not possible. We are incapable of judging the mind or acts of.the God of the universe with our puny minds. Whatever He does is right because He is ALWAYS just and His justice is always right.  Job attempted to question God for his ill-fortune. The Lord chastised him (for four chapters, mind you) until Job declares:

"Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”  Job 42:3

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16 minutes ago, Islander said:

God is a Holy God, a Just and Righteous God and an omniscient God. He does not do random. An inextricable part of His creation is love which can not exist without free will.  The fact that He allows evil does not make Him the author or creator of evil. We would not know what is good if evil did not exist. How can we chose righteousness if unrighteousness is not possible. We are incapable of judging the mind or acts of.the God of the universe with our puny minds. Whatever He does is right because He is ALWAYS just and His justice is always right.  Job attempted to question God for his ill-fortune. The Lord chastised him (for four chapters, mind you) until Job declares:

"Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”  Job 42:3

Did you read Nehor's comment?

How does this answer his point?   As it stands, it does not.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If there is no God and no purpose to the universe, then the thoughts and feelings we have are neither good nor bad.  In fact, all value judgments would then be nonsensical and irrelevant.  Only the laws of the jungle and of entropy would apply.  Bertrand Russell admitted up front that his personal preferences aside, one could not logically say that Stalin's Soviet Union was better or worse than the U.K.  If the so-called "light of Christ" is merely a matter of fairy faith, then it has no more value than the childish hope that the tooth fairy will come and compensate us.

I disagree so much with this. There are plenty that don't believe in God, maybe because they lost someone dear, and blame God? Do you think they have neither good nor bad feelings? I don't, I think a lot of them are strong empaths and they feel too much sometimes. So I'd consider digging deep on this statement. 

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On 9/7/2020 at 6:16 PM, Meadowchik said:

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. 

   You are missing the point that I have been striving to make. The claim of the theist is not that their beliefs are objective but that their moral code is revealed by a deity that does know it all. They acknowledge in and of themselves that they are incapable of divining a complete and objective moral framework.

On 9/7/2020 at 6:16 PM, Meadowchik said:

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.

But who is to say that Trotsky, Lenin, and Stalin were immoral? That was my point about the cannibals. Who is to say that their life style is immoral?

On 9/7/2020 at 6:16 PM, Meadowchik said:

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

Agreed. Some people have learned down through the ages that cooperation and settling disputes peacefully can be beneficial, but that is irrelevant to the actual point. When diametrically opposed moral differences arise who is to be the arbiter? Who gets to decide whether life really has intrinsic value, or whether certain lives, such as the aged or unborn have little to no value.

Glenn

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

As to the oft-repeated refrain that without God it is logical not to have any morality we have the whole of human history to counter that point. Even if it were a logical proposition (I do not believe it is) humans are not driven primarily by reason. I know of a few atheists that have told me that if I genuinely believed my religion I would work night and day all day spreading it and practicing it to the point of exhaustion and would focus on nothing else. There is logic to that statement but I am human and could not tolerate that kind of schedule for long.

You bring up an undeniable point.  Throughout most of human history, how we view God today just did not exist except maybe this small tribal people living in Israel who never gained any importance or foothold into world history until centuries later when the Old Testament began to have a wide reading.  The heavy lifting of formulating western morality and logic was done by the Greeks and later Romans.  They are the ones that dominated western ideas much of which is still the foundation that society is built on today.  

To argue that you need God for morality, then you have to admit that any god would do, including Zeus. It didn't take until well after Constantine before a moral code from the God we acknowledge today gained any significant followers.

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56 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I disagree so much with this. There are plenty that don't believe in God, maybe because they lost someone dear, and blame God? Do you think they have neither good nor bad feelings? I don't, I think a lot of them are strong empaths and they feel too much sometimes. So I'd consider digging deep on this statement. 

Well, Tacenda, it is certainly true that we have a culture with many values.  Where do you suppose those values came from?  There are many sources of our modern culture.  In the West, it is the high cultures of Greece and Rome, as well as Christianity.  Some scholars maintain that the conversion of the Vikings to Christianity ended their primary vengeance-seeking madness (the abrupt change is reflected in the sagas).  Forgiveness and love have been a major part of our culture.

However, some scholars also maintain that the basis of kindness, empathy, and love is really hormonal.  According to them, it is an adaptive and evolutionary survival mechanism.  Why?  Because cooperation increases the likelihood of survival of the species.  Where would children be without the maternal instinct?  Where would women be without their mates bringing home the bacon?  And we are not the only species which uses altruism as a survival mechanism.  Indeed, man's best friend, the dog, is our cooperative hunter, protector, and true friend.  Yet we can also see the cooperative nature of ants, bees, and other social species.

Without God, there is no difficulty in seeing altruistic behavior as mechanical and necessary to survival.  We call it "good," and the opposite "evil."  But, without God and the Devil, what do those words really mean?

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