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Author Topic:   Nature and the fall of man
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 271 of 300 (303032)
04-10-2006 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by jar
04-10-2006 7:19 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
Birth defects happen. Has nothing to do with religion.

Your God causes birth defects to happen. Why?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:19 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 272 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:31 PM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 272 of 300 (303036)
04-10-2006 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 271 by robinrohan
04-10-2006 7:22 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
Your God causes birth defects to happen. Why?

LOL

Really?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by robinrohan, posted 04-10-2006 7:22 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by robinrohan, posted 04-10-2006 7:37 PM jar has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 273 of 300 (303038)
04-10-2006 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 272 by jar
04-10-2006 7:31 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
LOL

Really?

I'm glad I'm amusing you, but could you answer the question?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 272 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:31 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:43 PM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 274 of 300 (303040)
04-10-2006 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by robinrohan
04-10-2006 7:37 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
What question Charlie? You just seem to keep telling me what it is I believe. And yes, that really is funny and kinda cute.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by robinrohan, posted 04-10-2006 7:37 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by robinrohan, posted 04-10-2006 7:49 PM jar has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 275 of 300 (303043)
04-10-2006 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by jar
04-10-2006 7:43 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
What question Charlie? You just seem to keep telling me what it is I believe. And yes, that really is funny and kinda cute.

Right. I assumed that your God or Goddess or whatever it is created nature. If this God or Goddess created nature, then He or She is responsible for nature. Nature creates birth defects. Therefore, your God is responsible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:43 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:57 PM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 276 of 300 (303045)
04-10-2006 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by robinrohan
04-10-2006 7:49 PM


Re: This old thread will do, Jar
Those are your assumptions. I don't really have anything to do with figments of YOUR imagination or creations of YOUR fantasies.

But if you want some of my thoughts on the matter, begin with Message 1. Once you finish with that and the other threads it links to come back and maybe we can have a productive discussion.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by robinrohan, posted 04-10-2006 7:49 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 7:44 AM jar has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 277 of 300 (303125)
04-11-2006 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by jar
04-10-2006 7:57 PM


impossibility of semi-powerful God
Those are your assumptions. I don't really have anything to do with figments of YOUR imagination or creations of YOUR fantasies.

OK.

maybe we can have a productive discussion.

I suspect that's not possible.

So I'll talk to myself and see what I come up with. This God of yours began the universe and created the process known as evolution. He might not have done it that way. He might have made all creatures by specially creating them. But He preferred the killing field known as evolution. Assuming that this God exists, He is mighty cruel. In addition to evolution, He wreaked havoc in various ways down through the centuries--the plague years being an example, when He wiped out betwen a third and a half of Europe and Asia with a hideous and very painful disease.

One response might be that this is a Deistic God. He set the universe in motion and then sat back, so to speak, to watch developments. But the fact that He merely set in motion a natural process does not mean that He is not responsible unless we think of Him as a rather impotent God indeed who had no idea what He had set in motion. Such a semi-powerful or semi-knowledgable God won't do logically, I don't think. He's extraneous.

We have 2 choices as regards the origin of the universe:

1. An eternal Being created it.
2. The universe has always existed (in some form)

What must be the attributes of the God in Choice #1 to keep Him distinct from choice #2? Well, for one thing, He could not have come from nature, since He created nature. There must be nothing anterior to this Being. There must be no "natural" moral standard to which this Being must adhere; a natural moral standard would include a nature, but there can no nature before the creation of nature. There must be absolutely nothing in addition to this God before the creation of nature. Everything that there is is Him--because there are only two possible entities--nature (including all its products) and Him.

Would it be possible for this God to be less than all-powerful or less than all-knowledgable, anything less in fact than an ideal Being?

I'm inclined to say no, it would not be possible. Let's say that this God didn't know everything--didn't know, for example, everything that evolution entailed, didn't know exactly what would be produced or how. That would mean that there was a body of knowledge to which this God was not privy, which was knowledge about nature.

I don't think such a God is possible. For this state of affairs to exist, there would have to be some sort of nature out of God's control, something around that is separate from this God. Otherwise He would know it. There would have to be a part of nature that is "on its own." But this part of nature that is on its own would have had to always been on its own. There would be nothing to make it be on its own later on. Certainly not nature. Nature as a whole can't make nature as a whole do something.

And if it was always on its own, then it would have always existed, which means we are back to choice #2.

So a semi-powerful, semi-knowledgable God is not possible.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 04-11-2006 06:46 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by jar, posted 04-10-2006 7:57 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 278 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 8:10 AM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 278 of 300 (303130)
04-11-2006 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 277 by robinrohan
04-11-2006 7:44 AM


Robin outlines HIS god.
Interesting. Just wanted to make it clear that you are postulating YOUR visions of YOUR god and not of my GOD.

There are some areas of disagreement, for example I do not see Evolution as killing fields, and I have also addressed my position on the Good GOD in Message 49 which was one of the links included in the discussion I linked you to earlier.

This message has been edited by jar, 04-11-2006 07:16 AM


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 7:44 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by Faith, posted 04-11-2006 8:50 AM jar has responded
 Message 281 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 3:33 PM jar has responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 33944
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 279 of 300 (303140)
04-11-2006 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 278 by jar
04-11-2006 8:10 AM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
Kind of looks to me like he made some reasonable inferences about what your God is really like, and that you are just refusing to recognize those inferences.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 8:10 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 9:06 AM Faith has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 280 of 300 (303145)
04-11-2006 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 279 by Faith
04-11-2006 8:50 AM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
Okay. You are welcome to believe most anything.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by Faith, posted 04-11-2006 8:50 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by Faith, posted 04-11-2006 4:03 PM jar has not yet responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 281 of 300 (303272)
04-11-2006 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 278 by jar
04-11-2006 8:10 AM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
OK, here's what you said:

About 65 million years ago an asteroid smashed down into the Gulf of Mexico a few hundred miles from where I live. That was a monentous event. For a long period of time the dinosaurs had been the dominate lifeform on the planet. They had been very successful and lasted far longer than we have and had expanded into all of the niches that humans now occupy. They lived in warm and cold, high and low, forest and plain, swamp and meadow.

The asteroid strike 65 million years ago must be considered a very bad thing for the dinosaurs. So we can ask the same question as about your nephew. Why do bad things happen?

Well, here is the fundamentalists chance to show the big picture, how it was bad for the dinos but good for us, right? Well, no, that's not the argument I hope to make.

Although the changes after the asteroid strike did open up environmental opportunities that mammals expanded into, I do not see the strike as some act of GOD to bring about humans. Instead, it was a normal result of the universe we live in, one of the random and unfeeling incidents we have both mentioned before.

Basically, over the last 65 million years or so all of the evolution of the mammals has happened. That's pretty quick, a rush job as it were, and it shows. If you look at the result (and IMHO this single fact is enough to blow any thoughts of Intellegent Design out of the water), what evolved are critters that are just barely good enough. This is true of every mammal out there. None of them are really well designed overall. They are all a collection of mismatched parts and Rube Goldberg engineering. They get sick. They break. They wear out way too soon.

The Fundamentalist might say, "Well, that's all after the fall and before then man was perfect." Fine, they may believe that but frankly, there is no evidence to support such a contention and trying to do so simply opens up way to many other issues. The result of such mental gymnastics is a theology that is an even bigger Rube Goldberg than life as evolved.

Back towards the topic.

If we look at life today we find similar effects and issues regardless of species. Animals and plants get sick. They have systems that don't function or they break. It's pretty normal.

But finally, this gives me the opportunity to point out some of the things I see that show GOD is good.

First, the system.

IMHO GOD designed a universe that is, unlike the individuals in it, self healing. We can see this at every scale, every level. If we look out way beyond our local neighborhood we can see stars exploding, galaxies colliding. Yet the result of such catastrophies is not an end but a beginning. New stars and galaxies form, new elements are made, we get the iron that forms the core of our planet and our very existence from such events.

Closer to home we can see the same thing. The catastrophy 65 millions years ago was healed. The system is designed to assure that if life exists, it will evolve to fill the available environments regardless of what they are. If tomorrow something happened that wiped all mammals from the face of the earth, something else will evolve to fill the world again.

Even if all life were destroyed, it's likely it would start again. It certainly happened at least one time before and most likely, several times. Since we know that life began even if we do not know how, there is no reason to believe it could not happen again.

So the system GOD created is pretty good. It works well and seems to be self healing.

Now let's return to your nephew. He is typical of all the life we see around us. Every living thing we've found so far is subject to desease, to injury, to the limitations of the individual critter. Animals break bones. They get sick. They wear out. Their systems vary from individual to individual.

Unfortunately, your nephew has diabetes. I'm sorry. I wish it were otherwise.

There is one thing though that also brings me back to the Good GOD, something I've mentioned before. It's something unique to humans that I see as evidence of that Good GOD.

We can treat his diabetes. In fact, we are at the point where we can do more for him than ever before. And there is a very good chance that in the not too distant future we may be able to prevent such incidents.

Humans, through the scope, extent and intent of their capabilities can do things to help. If he were any other mammal, suffering any desease or breakage, he would be on his own. The other primates do not set and brace broken limbs. They do not treat the deseases that inflict others of their kind, much less other species.

That brings me to the fourth attribute that I've mentioned in the past, Empathy.

Humans have empathy that extends beyond their immediate family, their species, their clan, their nation. They are the only critters that actually intentionally try to improve the lives of other critters regardless of relationship. The concept of a veterinarian is uniquely human.

Yes, when I look around, I see the product of a Good GOD.

This meteor crashing into the earth was a "random and unfeeling incident." It just happened. God did not make it happen. It didn't happen for any particular reason. It happened because the system He set up was such that it could and did happen. Well, It's God's responsibility. He made nature.

Animals break bones. They get sick. They wear out. Their systems vary from individual to individual.

But thanks to God we are now making progress in curing disease. Too bad for all those people who suffered in the centuries before us. Tough luck for them. Also too bad about all those diseases that we can't cure yet. This God seems rather hit-and-miss in his applications of goodness. And why would he set up a system in which animals have such fragile bodies?

But on the other hand,"the system GOD created is pretty good."

Pretty good? All the Almighty God can do is pretty good?

Your comments don't provide any sort of explanation for the problem of pain--none whatsoever. You religion is a bit of sentimentality--a let's-look-on-the-bright-side attitude--which might be fine for everyday practical life but is not any good philosophically.

In order to solve the problem philosophically, you would have to show that the set-up we have is the only possible set-up, or that at any rate a pain-free set-up is impossible.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 04-11-2006 02:38 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 8:10 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 3:50 PM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 282 of 300 (303276)
04-11-2006 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by robinrohan
04-11-2006 3:33 PM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
In order to solve the problem philosophically, you would have to show that the set-up we have is the only possible set-up, or that at any rate a pain-free set-up is impossible.

Sure Robin. LOL

Here's the deal. It happens to be the system we got. Now you are free at any time to build a better one.

But pain is not bad. It's neither good or bad. Pain can be a friend, a warning, a reminder, a coach.

Pain, like hunger, or love or joy or sorrow or pleasure, is but a fact of life. It carries no weight of good or bad. Good and Bad are but a human construct and depends totally on the particular circumstances.

You[sic] religion is a bit of sentimentality--a let's-look-on-the-bright-side attitude--which might be fine for everyday practical life but is not any good philosophically.

Okay, if that's how you see it, fine. It's not how I see it but then I'm not you. And if it's pretty good for everyday practical life, that suits me just fine. I guess that's because I happen to live in the real world and not some philosophical fantasy land.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 3:33 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 283 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 3:55 PM jar has responded

robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 283 of 300 (303280)
04-11-2006 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 282 by jar
04-11-2006 3:50 PM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
Good and Bad are but a human construct and depends totally on the particular circumstances.

That's certainly true if there is no God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 3:50 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 3:59 PM robinrohan has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31798
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 284 of 300 (303283)
04-11-2006 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 283 by robinrohan
04-11-2006 3:55 PM


Re: Robin outlines HIS god.
jar writes:

Good and Bad are but a human construct and depends totally on the particular circumstances.

to which Robing replies:

quote:
That's certainly true if there is no God.

True if there is a GOD too. That's why we were given the great gift of the ability to tell right from wrong, the ability to make those subjective decisions.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 3:55 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by robinrohan, posted 04-11-2006 4:04 PM jar has responded
 Message 287 by Faith, posted 04-11-2006 4:06 PM jar has not yet responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 33944
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 285 of 300 (303284)
04-11-2006 4:03 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by jar
04-11-2006 9:06 AM


No it's YOUR God jar
It isn't about belief. It's about the nature of your God. He's obviously weak or incompetent -- isn't in charge of the meteor that wreaked so much damage, or apparently in charge of the suffering of his creatures either. Pretty weak and stupid. And uncompassionate about all those suffering creatures apparently too. Gives us some remedies, rather too little and late it seems to me. And they don't cure everything, and people and animals still die in awful misery. Some live in awful misery too.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by jar, posted 04-11-2006 9:06 AM jar has not yet responded

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