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Author Topic:   The Essence Of Faith & Belief.
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


(1)
Message 14 of 189 (630931)
08-29-2011 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Larni
08-29-2011 11:59 AM


Re: This is not my idea.
Larni writes

quote:
If it wants the world the way it is it can fuck off. The pain and suffering in the world is then only necessary because that is what the god wants.

Nobody seems to have a problem with an omnipotent God who is incapable of producing square circles. Yet many have trouble with an omnipotent God who is incapable of creating freewilled beings incapable of doing something God would prefer they didn't do.

Ironically, having the world the way He wants to have it will involve a certain fucking, as you put it, off.

Patience, Larni..

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Larni, posted 08-29-2011 11:59 AM Larni has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 1:19 PM iano has responded
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 08-29-2011 1:33 PM iano has responded
 Message 39 by nwr, posted 08-29-2011 7:20 PM iano has acknowledged this reply

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 23 of 189 (630946)
08-29-2011 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Stile
08-29-2011 1:19 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Stile writes:

quote:
Spoken like a man who has not experienced the kind of "fucking off" that is forced on so many innocent's in this world.

There are various ways to measure an perfect world. The one I find myself admiring is the one which utilises all the good and all the evil - and the apparently unbalanced way in which both are doled out - to produce a situation where every single person ever born gets an equal chance at eternal life.

quote:
If God exists, I just hope He's not omnipotent. Otherwise He does not deserve anything better than a punch in the nose. An omnipotent God does not deserve to ask for patience if He is so morally void as to have created conditions that allow for some of the things that go on in this world.

If the evil that is within this world is required in order for free-will to exist... then a worthy God would never allow this world to come into being in the first place.


Since it's the freewill that generates the evil (and the good you don't mention), a restriction in freewill would indeed temper the extent of evil doing. Would you prefer that, to have a dampened down freewill, capable neither of good nor evil. Not capable of shaking it's fist at it's creator?

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 1:19 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 2:22 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 25 of 189 (630953)
08-29-2011 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Stile
08-29-2011 2:22 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
quote:
Of course. A world with no free will is exceedingly morally above a world such as the one we live in.

Without freewill there are no morals to speak of.

quote:
I don't think you get it... the good that exists in this world doesn't balance out the evil. The evil that exists grossly out proportions the good.

Source?

quote:
If this is the way the world must be... any capable worthy or just judge would not create this world in the first place.

Freewill of the highest order will have the potential to produce evil of the highest order, true.

But since that which is on offer is for us to completely merge with the godhead (or be completely demerged from it), I don't really see how the offer can be extended to amoeba.

The highest stakes call for the very highest grade of free will. For better or worse.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 2:22 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 3:11 PM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 32 of 189 (630970)
08-29-2011 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Stile
08-29-2011 3:11 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Stile writes:

quote:
God doesn't have morals?

I wouldn't be supposing so. If you are light and if in you there is no darkness then evil you are incapable of. Moral agents can choose between good and evil.

-

quote:
Best answered with another question:
How many innocent lives do you think should be tortuously ruined beyond imagination, just so you can freely choose chocolate ice-cream for dessert?

That's not a very good answer. I don't think it's possible to answer that question. And I think you know that.

-

quote:
Again, how many women would you allow to be raped so that you can have "free will of the highest order?"

That's best answered with a question. How many women would you deny the potential joys that come with freewill by clipping the wings of it?

-

quote:
The point is that the evil that exists in this world simply isn't worth the free-will that provides it.

If you think it is, please, let me know:


In order to think I have to have the freewill you don't think is worth it.

It's a kind of a non-question really. God has chosen to create us. He has chosen to place us in an environment which will provide us with the balanced conditions required in order that each make his own choice re: postion before God. Good and evil are utilised in that set up.

In order to decide whether that was good or not you'd have to blow the dust off the standard of good you measure things by (cue a 1000 debates of old). And since my standard is "what God finds good I find myself warming to.."

-

quote:
It's pretty obvious that the free-will available just doesn't balance with the amount of evil present.

As I say, I don't really think you can quantify that. It's truly impossible to measure. And truly impossible to wash the subjectivity off it even if you managed to tot it up.

It is the way it is, is about all that can be said.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Stile, posted 08-29-2011 3:11 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Dogmafood, posted 08-29-2011 5:11 PM iano has responded
 Message 50 by Stile, posted 08-30-2011 8:24 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 36 of 189 (630982)
08-29-2011 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Larni
08-29-2011 5:07 PM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes:

If the evidence is sufficient to convince the individual then it is hardly faith.

My idea of faith is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary.

That's a Dawkinsian definition of faith (unsurprisingly).

The Bibles definition of faith is, as you would expect, the polar opposite of Dawkins.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

Ho hum

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Larni, posted 08-29-2011 5:07 PM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 3:19 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 37 of 189 (630983)
08-29-2011 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Dogmafood
08-29-2011 5:11 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Dogmafood writes:

quote:
What about all of the suffering that is caused by the conditions of the Universe that do not involve us or our freewill. I would not lay blame at god’s foot for the malfeasance of man but what of the sick child or the victims of nature?

Like the good in man that counters his evil, nature too consists of a balance: the good in nature that provides for us and gives us much joy, is tempered and balanced by the contamination caused by mans evil.

Combined, the stage is set for our being exposed to a sense of heaven and a sense of hell. The question is set: which will we chose.

-

quote:
Indeed, are we not all victims of nature with her limited resources, fierce competition and piss poor hygiene? Are these not the roots of ‘evil’ in man?

I honestly don't think so. I know myself too well to blame it on something external to me. There are all kinds of sub-players in this game - but the chief villan when it comes to me is pride. My pride.

And when you track back to the root of the trouble in the world it's the same thing the world over.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Dogmafood, posted 08-29-2011 5:11 PM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Phat, posted 08-29-2011 6:25 PM iano has responded
 Message 54 by Dogmafood, posted 08-30-2011 4:52 PM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 41 of 189 (631044)
08-30-2011 3:47 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Larni
08-30-2011 3:19 AM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes:

quote:
As you say, evidence. There is always some evidence to convince the person. Faith cannot exist without evidence.

and

quote:
My idea of faith is belief in something despite evidence to the contrary.

It could be that the evidence which undergirds the faith exceeds the evidence that exists to the contrary. It would explain why..

quote:
Basically the faithful say "x means y", never change their position and when asked why they never change their position they say "I have faith that x equals y".

It's like the faithful person's brain become feature locked.


(where 'feature locked' is the only thing to do when you've found that evidence in direction A exceeds evidence in direction B.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 3:19 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 4:17 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 42 of 189 (631045)
08-30-2011 3:53 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Phat
08-29-2011 6:25 PM


Re: Is It Worthwhile To Have Faith In Humanity?
Phat writes:

quote:
Which is a good argument in favor of Western Christianity and the Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Humans have had well over 2000 years to get it all right...yet we still show the seven deadly sins to each other on a constant basis.


I dunno. Survival of the fittest (a.k.a what is fit survives) explains it equally well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Phat, posted 08-29-2011 6:25 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 44 of 189 (631049)
08-30-2011 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Phat
08-29-2011 1:33 PM


Re: Human Beliefs regarding Gods Plan
Phat writes

quote:
Faith & Belief often involve a belief in God. Some would argue that the uninitiated only know about God, much like a philosophical construct of the human mind, whereas initiates (those saved and/or born again) actually have a personal relationship with (internal communion, if you will) with the Creator of the universe.

Western Christianity seemed to lean towards a Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Eastern Christianity placed less significance on a Fall, and had more of a Creation/Awareness/Decision paradigm.

A Western Christian such as yourself may argue that humans are incapable of the ability to even decide proper behavior without a Redeemer. (or the action/decision of redemption.)

Eastern Christians may argue that humans are now aware and have the decision to accept the responsibility of a life dedicated to serving others.


It would seem I fall into neither camp. I believe the creation/fall/redemption paradigm and believe we are possession of awareness sufficient* to make a decision w.r.t. God. I don't see a conflict between redemption offered and our choosing in regard to it.

*The awareness isn't a direct awareness of God. Rather, it is a veiled awareness involving our knowledge of good and evil, our sense of significance, our recoiling from death, our desiring the good even when immersing ourselves in evil, etc.

-

quote:
I have a question for you, Ian. Were God taken out of the equation, what would people even have as far as Belief goes? Whom would we believe in?> Ourselves? Humanity? Would it work?

In what sense is he being taken out of the equation? Actually taken out > would mean there are no people. Taken out (in the sense that atheists take him out) > would mean people believe the kind of things atheists believe.

I'm not sure I've grasped the question.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 08-29-2011 1:33 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 45 of 189 (631052)
08-30-2011 4:37 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Larni
08-30-2011 4:17 AM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes

quote:
But 'feature locked' means that further evidence is ignored because the actor has faith that even if the new evidence is persuasive it will be wrong.

To paraphrase your good self "what I believe is true because I know it is". This blinding to new contradictory evidence is the very essence of faith.


No harm. Arrival at any truth necessarily means the train pulling in at the terminus. One might step out of the train and investigate the lay of the land but to suggest that there are no terminus' and that the journey is necessarily perpetual is to deny the existence of truth.

Which is faith position.

You could visualise it as reaching escape velocity and leaving the gravitational pull of earth behind you. Future evidence of the gravitational kind have no relevance. You'd have entered a different orbit where the old evidences don't apply any more. That said, you do know that I permit that I could be a brain in a jar and that all my knowing is but the probing of a mad scientist.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 4:17 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 5:09 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 47 of 189 (631058)
08-30-2011 5:18 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Larni
08-30-2011 5:09 AM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes

quote:
Then you are open to new evidence that could redefine your belief and change what you know to be true.

That's not faith, that's a tentative conclusion.


Only on a technicality. I'd have to be God in order to know that what I know is absolutely the case (although I suppose someone could ask God how he knows he isn't a brain in a jar).

For all practical purposes, I've reached a terminus and lines have now closed.

Are you open to evidence that would change your view that the lines should always remain open?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 5:09 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 6:09 AM iano has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 49 of 189 (631064)
08-30-2011 6:18 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Larni
08-30-2011 6:09 AM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes

quote:
If the lines are now closed then your faith acts as an impediment to the acquisition of knowledge.

You're back to denying the existance of truth again. Arrival at a truth means (per definition) that there is no more knowledge required (other than that which might help investigate the lay of the land of that truth.

More knowledge is like sperm No2 arriving at a fertilzed egg. Things have simply moved on.

quote:
I could not claim to know anything in the way you know your god is real.

I know God exists in the same way I know I do. You know you exist don't you?

-

quote:
I would boil it down to a closed vs open mind.

Where open mind means denying the possibility of arrival at truth. Is your mind open to evidence that would change that view?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Larni, posted 08-30-2011 6:09 AM Larni has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 51 of 189 (631082)
08-30-2011 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Stile
08-30-2011 8:24 AM


Re: This is not my idea.
Stile writes:

quote:
Why isn't it a good answer?

It's not a good answer because it is skewed to limiting the activity of one side of freewill - namely the evil side. But in order to maintain balance you need to trim back the freedom to do great good too. You might agree that a being confined to doing only good isn't a freewilled being.

So in addition to preventing the suffering of children, let's close down the schools and hospitals.

quote:
Really? The answer, again, is obvious to anyone with any amount of positive morality. The answer is "all of them." Gaining joy at the expense of the suffering of others is just plain evil. How could anyone really experience "joy" knowing that in order for them to feel such there are innocent's suffering horrible pains? It's revolting.

Who said anything about gaining joy at another's expense? I was merely asking that you clip the both sides of the freewill equation: that which leads to peoples suffering and that which leads to peoples joy.

-

quote:
But, of course, it isn't impossible at all. I can tell just by looking at all the suffering in the world that if such a system was put into place on purpose... then the one who decided to create it is as evil as evil gets. More evil than Hitler. More evil than The Joker. More evil than anything we can imagine. To say we can't measure it is nothing more than to create a coping mechanism within your mind so that you can relieve yourself of the responsibility of having to say "Hey, you! That's wrong!!"

At what point in proceedings are you going to describe how it is you measure the totality of all the good and evil so as to conclude the balance hangs as much to evil as you say. You don't "just look at all the suffering". You see an infinitely small fraction of the totality of it. Nor do you just look at all the joy which is produced by the freewilled actions of people - for the same reasons.

It would take a god to view it all and evaluate the relative worth of each item. It's not something you're able to do.

quote:
if an omnipotent God does exist and is responsible for creating the world... then He's obviously not worth a second thought. Given omnipotence, I could have created a better world (with an even higher level of free-will) in my sleep.

Anyone who can't see it simply hasn't experienced the kind of evil this world is capable of, or is fooling themselves.


It wouldn't be hard to design a world in which the will is free to choose only from a set of good options. You might share how you could call this a higher-level freewill since you are lowering the number of options available.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Stile, posted 08-30-2011 8:24 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Stile, posted 08-30-2011 10:07 AM iano has not yet responded
 Message 55 by Straggler, posted 08-31-2011 1:15 PM iano has responded
 Message 56 by Larni, posted 08-31-2011 2:24 PM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 57 of 189 (631303)
08-31-2011 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Straggler
08-31-2011 1:15 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
quote:
Why not just clip one side? Rather than create good and evil why not narrow the scale so that the only possibilities are indifference and escalating degrees of good?

That's what I figure heaven to be like. A place wherein dwelleth only righteousness.

quote:
You still get freewill but you don't get evil. The worst someone can be is indifferent.

I wouldn't call a will that is denied half the available options a free one. I don't suppose a will in heaven to be a free one for that reason. The will in heaven is a holy will.

quote:
Doesn't this make far more sense than a God that is supposedly incapable of evil but who has apparently created the capacity for evil anyway??

The old argument goes that you can't make someone love you. They have to be able to choose to love you. Or not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Straggler, posted 08-31-2011 1:15 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Larni, posted 08-31-2011 5:45 PM iano has responded
 Message 62 by Straggler, posted 09-01-2011 6:20 AM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 878 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 59 of 189 (631339)
08-31-2011 6:13 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Larni
08-31-2011 5:45 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Larni writes:

quote:
Aside from this not addressing Straggler's point at all;

Au Cointreau Rodney, au cointreau. Straggler suggests that a consequence of doing as he asks be done is..

Straggler writes:

..You still get freewill but you don't get evil

To which I replied

iano writes:

I wouldn't call a will that is denied half the available options a free one.

-

quote:
why would you choose to love someone who makes the place you live in a total shit hole and if you are not greatfull you go to an even worse place?

Because I didn't lick my theology off biblecaricatures.com?

-

quote:
Back on topic. The essence of faith and belief is the denial of new data.

He said tentatively...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Larni, posted 08-31-2011 5:45 PM Larni has not yet responded

  
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