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Christian theology still fails at the Problem of Unnecessary Suffering

Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
This is a debate that touches upon the problem of gratuitous suffering and gets a weak response from the Theist side that we can't know God's higher purpose... Not really addressing it... As I tried explaining here. Might be useful to someone that runs across this and does watch and listen...

 
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Venomous Hummingbird II

Guest
why? are you under the impression that he actually intended for this to be an objective discussion? he just wanted to insult some people. the real question that should be asked is why would anyone behave in such a way? there is no need to explain why some people feel very personally offended by Christ. these are the people you should stay away from, and teach your kids to avoid wherever they meet them.
I never mentioned Christ. Besides, pot calling the kettle black eh? You have the most arrogant holier-than-thou attitude on this forum. Literally every post of yours is you lecturing other people who they're a bunch of yokels.

My post was sarcastic because the religions are that hilarious if you look at them from an objective standpoint. They're full of contradictions and antiquated notions. They do offer a nice philosophy on life sometimes, but that is drowned in an ocean of irrationality.
 

Dynamite Joe

Well-Known Member
In argument form...

P1- An all-loving and all-powerful God would not allow his creatures to experience any evil or suffering that is unnecessary and is not directly contingent on a higher moral purpose.

P2- A lot of gruesome and unnecessary suffering happens in our world to animals and humans, which cannot be reasonably necessary or directly contingent on a higher moral purpose.

Conc: An all-loving and all-powerful God doesn't exist.

....

An all-powerful and all-loving God can not allow unnecessary suffering upon his creatures.

A loving father would avoid any unnecessary harm to his child at the expense of teaching her a lesson. But what about an all-loving, all-good God that has even a greater love for his children than a father has for his child?

Christians respond that we don't know his ultimate plan and what goes inside his head, an alternate version of "God works in mysterious ways".

But it is reasonable to claim that we live in a world where a lot of relentless suffering has happened. Too much for any real moral reason. And that modern man can teach children good morals and ethics without resorting to violence, suffering and cruelty. Why can't God?

God could have created all animals as herbivores that ate leaves and loved one another, dancing happily on the face of the Earth. Without all the cruelty, blood, dominance and suffering involved. Why was it necessary for God to create a hyena that eats a sick elephant from its anus while it is alive? Or other cruel aspects of nature too gruesome to put into words.

And what about suffering we have not witnessed... From deer burning in forest fires without anyone knowing to dinosaurs freezing to death before we can witness it. We can strongly induce those happened. But can we ever imagine the extent of suffering involved and learn anything meaningful from it? And let's say 10 deer burned in a forest. Why couldn't it have been 9 or 8? Or anything less? Why isn't suffering lessened at every opportunity if an All Loving God is watching?

As Christopher Hitchens points out, why was it not enough for God to intervene to stop a young girl from being abused, locked up and raped by her sick father for years until she died? What's the great moral lesson in having her go through all that as opposed to intervening after she had witnessed some of that suffering and propagate the moral teaching if there was one. What higher reason could ever justify anything like that?

A deranged scientist doesn't do to his lab rats what God in Christianity allows to happen to his children under the claim of "testing them". Yet his his devout followers are brainwashed into thinking that this is normal. That a loving creator could have created something as gruesome and cold. And then a hellfire afterwards to burn those he so loved. Doesn't the creation reflect the creator? If so, God is cruel and manipulative.

...

The solution is to have a different model of God that admits that He is Evil and Good or above both and not concerned with morality. And that Evil is not a fluke. But a natural aspect of God. Like a pendulum. If it swings Left it also swings Right. As other much deeper and older creeds and religions have suggested. Kisses to Yazidis.

I bet you that die hard theists would rather follow an evil God than acknowledge he doesn’t exist. In a sort of way that’s what they do now. They simply whitewash his sadistic nature and sugarcoat the obvious immorality of abrahamic theology. It’s elementary psychology; insecurity can lead to self deception as a way to cope with it, which in turn, can lead to irrational beliefs. That insecurity derives from fear of death, suffering, and the unknown. Our survival instinct is stubborn in the face of mortality. In contradiction to nature, we want to believe that life goes on indefinitely. Since we failed to defy Father Time, we constructed delusions of grandeur and the belief of an indomitable caretaker waiting for us in greener pastures on the other side. A script in the making for a twilight zone episode.

As far as eschatology goes, there’s the ignorant theist who is brainwashed from childhood, takes the idea of eternal life for granted and never questions it. This group of people have been in exponential decline since the Information Age, and especially at the advent of the internet. Then there’s the curious theist who wakes up every morning and lies to himself because of irrational fears. This group probably makes up most of theists in the western world today and certainly on this forum. Of course, then there’s the atheist/agnostic who accepts reality as it is without feel good addendums. Ironically, this group will one day conquer suffering and death in spite of the invisible man in the sky.
 
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Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
I bet you that die hard theists would rather follow an evil God than acknowledge he doesn’t exist. In a sort of way that’s what they do now. They simply whitewash his sadistic nature and sugarcoat the obvious immorality of abrahamic theology. It’s elementary psychology; insecurity can lead to self deception as a way to cope with it, which in turn, can lead to irrational beliefs. That insecurity derives from fear of death, suffering, and the unknown. Our survival instinct is stubborn in the face of mortality. In contradiction to nature, we want to believe that life goes on indefinitely. Since we failed to defy Father Time, we constructed delusions of grandeur and the belief of an indomitable caretaker waiting for us in greener pastures on the other side. A script in the making for a twilight zone episode.

As far as eschatology goes, there’s the ignorant theist who is brainwashed from childhood, takes the idea of eternal life for granted and never questions it. This group of people have been in exponential decline since the Information Age, and especially at the advent of the internet. Then there’s the curious theist who wakes up every morning and lies to himself because of irrational fears. This group probably makes up most of theists in the western world today and certainly on this forum. Of course, then there’s the atheist/agnostic who accepts reality as it is without feel good addendums. Ironically, this group will one day conquer suffering and death in spite of the invisible man in the sky.

I'm a theist / deist btw... I'm just very doubtful of an existence of a good or perosnal God. It feels to me that there is some power in the universe that does maintain some order or reflect in us through consciousness and intelligence. But I can't put my finger on it. And it's absurd to make it some high monarch or some loving father. I
 
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Venomous Hummingbird II

Guest
If we're created in the image of God, doesn't that mean that God has mental issues of his own? What if he's beneficent and malevolent at the same time? Maybe he's subjective at times and gets pissed and wrecks things? In the Old Testament, God gets and jealous and angry and feels and interacts like human beings do.
 

Dynamite Joe

Well-Known Member
I'm a theist / deist btw... I'm just very doubtful of an existence of a good or perosnal God. It feels to me that there is some power in the universe that does maintain some order or reflect in us through consciousness and intelligence. But I can't put my finger on it. And it's absurd to make it some high monarch or some loving father. I

Don't you think your intelligence and consciousness are the result of biological processes in your brain? Is it really necessary to have some external intelligent power reflect in you or other primates? What of other living organisms like ants, bacteria, lizards... Are you sure there is order in our universe, or could it be just the illusion of order? After all, we evolved to this world, not the other way round.
 

Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
Don't you think your intelligence and consciousness are the result of biological processes in your brain? Is it really necessary to have some external intelligent power reflect in you or other primates? What of other living organisms like ants, bacteria, lizards... Are you sure there is order in our universe, or could it be just the illusion of order? After all, we evolved to this world, not the other way round.

Well there's an argument to be made there. But I'm not convinced in neo-Darwinian materialism as Dennett's "Consciousness explained" which tries to explain away consciousness as illusions of a biological process. There's more to human consciousness than there is to ants and lizards (although they do have some of our experiences). We can invent and experience life on a greater scale and have a personality. And we do not even begin to understand how that really works.

The universe itself seems conscious and not made out of material but ideas. So a biological process is not a cold material thing. And classical materialism is long refuted. The same neo-Darwinist materialists are appealing to mentalism and claiming the universe deep-down is made of mathematical relations.
 

Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
I suggest reading Dr. Thomas Nagel's paper "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?". The modern science we have today, grandiose as it might seem to some, is very limited in what it can explain of the world and is just one approach of epistemology and one philosophy (materialist reductionism). Not everything can be understood by breaking it it down to pieces or smaller agents. The universe and the human mind are much more mysterious.
 

Libnene Qu7

Super Ultra Senior Member
Orange Room Supporter
If we're created in the image of God, doesn't that mean that God has mental issues of his own? What if he's beneficent and malevolent at the same time? Maybe he's subjective at times and gets pissed and wrecks things? In the Old Testament, God gets and jealous and angry and feels and interacts like human beings do.

Unfortunately I have very little time to be on this site. The quickest way I can think of explaining my point is as follows. If you watch a movie or read a novel, a fictitious story, even if it is completely fantasy, the rules of the fictitious universe are laid out in the beginning. In movies it is done in the first 15 minutes, never beyond that (at least good movies). Stories get destroyed for introducing new rules in the middle or near the end just in order to save the protagonist. It is a kind of cheating and completely throws off the audience.

The Bible, in its first chapters, lays out the ground rules with the story of Genesis and Adam and Eve. They disobey god and are thrown into the world and universe as we know it, full of good and certainly evil. Therefore the rules have been laid out early on, and you can't disprove the concept by saying evil exists in the world! The bible already made that clear early on. If you want to poke holes in this story, you must find something similar to the way the last Star Wars movie pissed off its fan-base with completely new and wacky ways the protagonists used "the force". Lol
 

Orangina

Legendary Member
Please tell us about @agnostic !
atheism is about belief or what u don't believe. an atheist does not believe in any gods.

agnosticism is about knowledge or about what u don't know. an agnostic does not know if any gods exist or not.

it is common for people to be both agnostics an atheists or agnostics and theists

learnreligions.com/atheist-vs-agnostic-whats-the-difference-248040

 

VH Redux

Member
Unfortunately I have very little time to be on this site. The quickest way I can think of explaining my point is as follows. If you watch a movie or read a novel, a fictitious story, even if it is completely fantasy, the rules of the fictitious universe are laid out in the beginning. In movies it is done in the first 15 minutes, never beyond that (at least good movies). Stories get destroyed for introducing new rules in the middle or near the end just in order to save the protagonist. It is a kind of cheating and completely throws off the audience.

The Bible, in its first chapters, lays out the ground rules with the story of Genesis and Adam and Eve. They disobey god and are thrown into the world and universe as we know it, full of good and certainly evil. Therefore the rules have been laid out early on, and you can't disprove the concept by saying evil exists in the world! The bible already made that clear early on. If you want to poke holes in this story, you must find something similar to the way the last Star Wars movie pissed off its fan-base with completely new and wacky ways the protagonists used "the force". Lol
The reason they give for why evil exists in banal and is being explained metaphorically because of that reason. All of these are man-made explanations to try to explain the world around us. If Garden of Eden was so pure, then how come evil intentions existed there? Did God intend Adam to fall? Did the trick him? If not, is he this bewildered of what's happening inside his beloved heaven?
 

Dynamite Joe

Well-Known Member
Well there's an argument to be made there. But I'm not convinced in neo-Darwinian materialism as Dennett's "Consciousness explained" which tries to explain away consciousness as illusions of a biological process. There's more to human consciousness than there is to ants and lizards (although they do have some of our experiences). We can invent and experience life on a greater scale and have a personality. And we do not even begin to understand how that really works.

The universe itself seems conscious and not made out of material but ideas. So a biological process is not a cold material thing. And classical materialism is long refuted. The same neo-Darwinist materialists are appealing to mentalism and claiming the universe deep-down is made of mathematical relations.

The human brain is just biologically more complex than ants. As far as birth and death goes, it's pretty much the same. Just cells that come together and later expire. Bear in mind, we adapted to our environment, not the other way round. So what you see as a universe of 'ideas' is just an illusion stemming from human conceit.
 

Dynamite Joe

Well-Known Member
I suggest reading Dr. Thomas Nagel's paper "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?". The modern science we have today, grandiose as it might seem to some, is very limited in what it can explain of the world and is just one approach of epistemology and one philosophy (materialist reductionism). Not everything can be understood by breaking it it down to pieces or smaller agents. The universe and the human mind are much more mysterious.

Something is only mysterious when ignorance outweighs knowledge of a subject. Applying feel good theories were science has yet to shed light is useless. Besides, the brain and human consciousness are no longer a mystery.
 

Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
Something is only mysterious when ignorance outweighs knowledge of a subject. Applying feel good theories were science has yet to shed light is useless. Besides, the brain and human consciousness are no longer a mystery.

If the brain is not a mystery and nor is consciousness, build something like it. Give us AI consciousness.
I'm sorry to tell you that they claimed they solved the mystery 40 years ago, and to this day, the materialist approach to consciousness has fell flat on its face. Read any academic papers on the issue and see for yourself.

I personally have worked with AI. And I know its limits and all the fakery involved in people who tell you modern science is a solution to all epistemology. They're taking you for granted and lying to you.
 

Dark Angel

Legendary Member
legitimate questions... true
how is that a legitimate question when the question itself is twisted and when the answer is pretty much available in every theology book, even the preliminary ones?

the problems with the new atheists most often reduces itself to assuming a "know it all attitude" when in reality more often then not they are pretty much clueless on the subjects they are discussing with such certitudes.
 
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Dynamite Joe

Well-Known Member
If the brain is not a mystery and nor is consciousness, build something like it. Give us AI consciousness.
I'm sorry to tell you that they claimed they solved the mystery 40 years ago, and to this day, the materialist approach to consciousness has fell flat on its face. Read any academic papers on the issue and see for yourself.

I personally have worked with AI. And I know its limits and all the fakery involved in people who tell you modern science is a solution to all epistemology. They're taking you for granted and lying to you.

You're going off-topic with AI... Understanding something and replicating it are two different things. It took centuries to understand brain physiology, and there's still much to learn with ongoing innovative research methods. So don't expect to "build something like that" anytime soon. You made an unsubstantiated claim that there's more to human consciousness than biological function, and a universe "made up of ideas" of some mysterious entity. Of course, there's absolutely no evidence to support such claims, nor can such conclusions be reached by deductive reasoning. You're venturing into the occult, which is no different than religion.
 

Myso

Active Member
Orange Room Supporter
You're going off-topic with AI... Understanding something and replicating it are two different things. It took centuries to understand brain physiology, and there's still much to learn with ongoing innovative research methods. So don't expect to "build something like that" anytime soon. You made an unsubstantiated claim that there's more to human consciousness than biological function, and a universe "made up of ideas" of some mysterious entity. Of course, there's absolutely no evidence to support such claims, nor can such conclusions be reached by deductive reasoning. You're venturing into the occult, which is no different than religion.

The universe is not something you can break up like Legos. That's classical reductionist materialist science which expired more than 30 years ago according to what your own neo-material scientists are saying these days. If the universe is made up of material, you wouldn't have quantum science which is interconnected and mathematical approximation where one positron affects another regardless of distance and where virtual particles pop in and out. Now would you? Where are those fundamental blocks you need for materialism to work?

A wooden box in front of you is mostly void and empty on the quantum level. Held up together not by material but by mathematical relations which make it appear as such only to you because of your size and biology. But it's rather tied to the whole universe in some way or another. And once you dig through those mathematical relations and their ties with our perception / consiousness, e.g double slit experiment, you realize that the Hindu model of the world being built in your mind does stand to some degree. Heck, if you read about Einstein's discussion with a reformist Hindu monk you see they both concluded with the same solipsism.

When they map consciousness, they map it to almost all the brain functioning together. If they can point to a biological function, then they would have deduced the chemistry and electricity involved and replicated it. Would be nothing more than some iodine, electric nodes and biological vessels involved which you could extract from brain tissue. But the brain itself doesn't have necessarily specific parts for certain things. There's no part for consciousness. And it seems to be itself from a Quantum level too minuscule for biology. Hence, why if you damage one part, other parts take over for memory. It's a holistic thing that transcends biology and has to do with electricity and electromagnetism.

I'm not saying it's magic. I'm just saying it's quantum physics that pushes the envelope on the traditional theory of science.
 

NewLeb

Member
If Garden of Eden was so pure, then how come evil intentions existed there?

There were no “evil intentions.” Adam and Eve were in the divine presence of Perfect Oneness. Eating from the tree corrupted this original and pure state of theirs, which had now regressed into a dualistic state of mind (good vs evil). This is why Adam and Eve covered themselves when they realized they were naked.
 
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