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Bayesian Argument and the PoE (Supporting PoE Post 3)

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Meow Mix, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    This is going to be a stretch, but hear me out. In my most recent PoE thread (Special Pleading and the PoE (Part 3)), I put forth an argument based on the incongruence between certain theodicies and the way our moral compasses register things.

    For background:

    • By "moral compass," I mean that faculty by which we judge things to be morally good or morally bad under the assumption that theism is true, God is omnipotent, God is omniscient, God is responsible for giving us cognitive faculties that are geared towards finding the truth (they aren't just random nonsense), and that God is ostensibly responsible for having given us our moral compasses.
    • In the PoE (part 3) post, I pointed out that if God is in charge of our moral faculties being geared towards correctly detecting moral good and bad (that a benevolent God would not bestow a faulty faculty), there is a problem in that we look at something like a child suffering and dying from leukemia and our moral compass usually points to "if someone caused or allowed this when it could have been otherwise, that would be bad."
    • Now the theodicy in question retorts: "Suffering that God allows isn't bad because God has some unknown reason for it that actually justifies it in a way that's congruent with benevolence." The argument would be that just as a child doesn't understand why they're being stabbed with a needle during a vaccine to ultimately foster some greater good (gaining immunity to something much worse), perhaps God has some reason for setting up the world in such a way that children get leukemia and suffer and die that's congruent with benevolence.
    Last bit of background regarding Baye's Theorem:

    • Baye's Theorem lets us calculate a probability based on prior probabilities and the probabilities of components of some state of affairs, such as if we want to know the probability that somebody in the room was born before a certain year given some other factor like the usual demographics that attend the type of meeting held in that room.
    • It's expressed thusly: P(A|B) = [P(B|A)*P(A)]/P(B) (read as: the probability of A given B...)
    Now, moving on.

    Let's say that the proposition "our moral faculties are geared towards correctly detecting moral good and bad" is equivalent to the proposition "our moral faculties are not faulty," and call this proposition K.

    Then let's say that the proposition "our moral faculties tell us that giving or allowing children to get leukemia when it's possible not to give/let children have leukemia" is called L.

    Then let's say that the proposition "God has a good reason for giving/letting kids have leukemia" is called G, and keep in mind we have sub-premises that God is omnipotent and omniscient.

    The argument is simply this: P(G|K&L) is low or inscrutable: someone arguing G is arguing up a massive hill and will need to have really good justification for their argument.

    That's it, all that background for that simple argument.
     
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  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Your presenting an archaic mechanistic anthropomorphic view of what would be an omnipotent and omniscient God. The contemporary Baha'i view is that the nature of our physical existence reflects the attributes of God, and not the perceived perfection of God from the ancient human perspective. The nature of the physical world is an evolving natural nursery for the the evolving souls. The suffering in the natural was awkwardly explained by the 'Fall and Original Sin,' which ultimately falls like a house of cards in a storm The suffering in the natural world has no direct relationship with the journey of the soul in this world and all possible other worlds.

    Ihe ultimate omnipotent, God is omniscient nature of God is unknowable from the human perspective.
     
  3. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I've read through this a couple of times trying to glean some more understanding out of it, but I might need to request a rephrase.

    For instance, I don't know what you mean by "...the nature of our physical existence reflects the attributes of God, and not the perceived perfection of God from the ancient human perspective." How ancient humans perceived God has nothing to do with whether or not God has properties like omnipotence or omniscience in actuality. Are you disputing that God has these properties? Are you disputing interpretations of what these properties mean?

    If the first (disputing that God has the properties), then the PoE does not apply to that conception of God. If the latter (disputing how the properties are interpreted), then again, the PoE only applies given the premises; so redefining the premises is the same as rejecting premises. The PoE would then not apply.

    Are you saying something else with that line than I was able to surmise?

    Moving on: regarding the nature of the physical world as an evolving nursery, this is the same as saying suffering is deliberate (but for a purpose we can't understand), which is the target of this entire series of posts as a theodicy.

    In general, I had trouble following from start to finish and knowing exactly what you were arguing. Could you rephrase?
     
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  4. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    In addition to that, God is eternal.
    If God is eternal, then any future transgressions are as if they had already occured which begs the question: How do we know the child is innocent? Eternal is long time. The child would need be innocent both now and in the future.
     
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  5. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    This is a good response, thanks for that.

    This would add the supposition that maybe God is punishing people for future misdeeds; but then we encounter some problems:

    1) If the person dies, then the justice is retributive and not rehabilitative; and is that really congruent with omnibenevolence? What about the family that suffers because of this, when it seems like God could say "yo by the way, this kid is Future Hitler 3.0?" Also what about non-fatal, non-suffering ways to protect society such as poofing the child into a pocket dimension to live out the rest of their days?

    2) Why do people slip through the cracks? How did we end up with Hitler then?

    So at first it sounds like a good response, and either way it is worth thinking about. But I think it falls apart after doing so, but I'll be interested to see what you think.
     
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  6. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    No, it's not omnibenevolent.

    My objection to both the divine revelation and poofing into the pocket dimension is that they are too overt. Something like that would prove God's existence which in turn would interfere with freewill ( assuming it exists ).
    For a Hitler, dying as a child would have been too merciful. Now he is liable for all of it.
     
  7. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Knowledge doesn't interfere with free will. If I'm making a choice, it is best that I know what my choices even are. If free will exists, I'm still making the choice freely.

    On top of that, it would be really malevolent to give someone a choice with infinite consequences without even giving them knowledge pertaining to that choice.

    Lastly, based on your first line, if God isn't supposed to be omnibenevolent, then the PoE does not apply in the first place.

    This doesn't track. If it's acceptable for God to give a child leukemia because of future crimes, ostensibly they are being held liable. So this makes no sense in the context of the counterargument you made.
     
  8. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Oh. I didn't know that.
    I knew it was a stretch.
    Ok.. Ok... How about this? :) What if the child were not a Hitler? Perhas the child is a lofty soul whose minor sin is judged as a major sin, based on their potential to do good? In this case the harsh judgement is sweetened by preventing the sin from occuring. For a Hitler, there should be only harsh judgement. Any better?
     
  9. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Yeah, it's a premise-based argument: it only says something with properties {x,y,z...} can't exist. If any one of those properties is different or doesn't obtain, the argument fails to apply.

    I mean, it's a possible situation: but it's not very congruent with omnibenevolence still.
     
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  10. Jacob Samuelson

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    I really enjoy this OP thread because it incites so much thought. Truly a vulnerability for those who believe in a Omnipotent and Omniscient God. @Meow Mix suggest that benevolence and creation are contradictory. Within the mechanics of our humanity exists a paramount function to feel. This mechanic is assumed by the Creator as He is the one responsible for setting the limits of Evil and Good. If Evil happens, the receptors placed in our creation activate to indicate a moral misalignment of what should be. If good, the same receptors activate and allow confirmation that this is what should continue to happen. For this example Meow mix has moral issue with kids and leukemia. Heartstrings are immediately tugged because innocence requires protection. In our framework of morality the more innocent, the more protection we desire to give. Visa versa. This moral issue should exist in a benevolent God, tugging at His proverbial heartstrings to the point that alignment, which is of course possible, is necessary even obligated. Yet it isnt. Leukemia remains. Suggesting If He did exist He would be a cold heartless apathic being, that disregards or forgets the instrument placed within us that causes us so much Pain during those events. It is not so much why he allows bad things to happen, but more so why he has created us with these innate receptors if there is nothing we can do about them, while maintaining that He can. Only adding salt to the wound.

    The reason I like this idea is because it really addresses the core of life's meaning. These compasses which supposedly direct our life undoubtedly direct us to pain rather than keeping us from it, which is agreeably odd since evolution should have during the millennias, resolve these issues for survival purposes.

    Another reason I like this post is because there really is no universal solution to the problem. Even the equation is not as simple as what Meow Mix suggests, because there are so many more variables to consider in determining why people believe what they believe. However I will suggest there is a null set to every equation. An event or expression that completely cancels reason and logic and can create an irrational outcome. Sort of like multiplying by 0 or dividing by infinity, this null set can completely alter the complexity of a problem and can be introduced at any time during the creation of the equation.

    Without the null set of belief, which enables spiritual and religious persons to ignore or set aside the complexities of life by inventing or accepting hypotheses of faith, all we are left with is a unique and complicated equation with no finite solution in sight.

    However, as somewhat of a mathematician, I have learned that the greatest equations never have only one equal sign and it becomes up to the individual to determine how far down the rabbit hole they wish to go. To me, the journey is more exciting than the destination, which means I am constantly adding to my equations and simplifying and revising.

    I have rarely come to a finite conclusion in most things, however, for the sake of peace I have allowed myself some 'more solid realities', yet even then I acknowledge these realities are just for me and not for everyone... which is okay.

    I really enjoy the things I have been able to prove to myself as I am motivated by reason and logic living in a spiritual body. These things are very precious to me and allows me to live a happier life amidst the tragedies of circumstance. It allows me to separate the problems of the world from the intentions of God and grow to love Him rather than hate or deny Him. It allows me to better love myself even when things arise that I can't control.

    I believe the cure to leukemia exists in the realm of eventual possibilities, as does the end of poverty, hunger, and war. Every illness and sickness will eventually be nullified due to and not in spite of the 'compass' that exists in us. A feat we might attribute to our own doing rather than God's, yet still argue the reasoning behind its construction when more disasters happen. It is that argument that keeps us moving forward as a people, advancing in science, and eventually becoming the masters of our destiny.

    I believe in a God that doesn't force us to change or punish us for what we are or may become. I believe that He wants us to write our own equation and solution to life and become our own gods in our own worlds. All He does in turn is point us to the right direction. That is why we feel, IMO.
    Thanks for the inquiry Meow Mix. It made me feel good responding to it.
     
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  11. Alienistic

    Alienistic Anti-conformity

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    The only way that I can solve the PoE are:

    1) Two “or more” different and separate Sources/gods that are not omnipotent, or are yet respect and honor some set of intervention rules. True Dualism, mixed all together.

    2) We signed up for the game of Earth life, being 100% aware of the terms and conditions in advance. Shown every possible potential scenario. Consented to it. Thrown into a random chaos generator, unsure how we will look, where we will live, unsure of our internal and external environment. Signed up knowing/fully aware that we could get any disease or new disease, or living relatively healthy.
     
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  12. Alienistic

    Alienistic Anti-conformity

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    #1 would be intensely creepy and cruel. Like we would be just some created experiment and puppetry for the entertainment of who or what created us. Slaves. Whether it gets off or gets its life and sustenance from our suffering, fear, ignorance, and deceiving us through our ignorance and weak nature, controlling us.

    Because I don’t believe that anything genuinely good will be the author of evil and suffering while simultaneously also the savior of our suffering. They’d have to be 2 distinct and separate sources.
     
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  13. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Sounds like this is a long-winded way of saying that your god is one of the many gods to which the POE doesn't apply.

    God' nature is unknowable, but you know that omnipotence and omniscience are part of God's nature?

    I call shenanigans.
     
  14. Alienistic

    Alienistic Anti-conformity

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    #2 is what I would hope for rather than #1 if I had to choose from either hypothetical.

    I was in a hospital before in a waiting room with my daughter before she were to have a minor surgery. A young girl, maybe around 7 years old with leukemia were being wheeled by my room. She looked directly into my eyes with this vivid, glowing, happy smile. Changed my life instantaneously. Stopped taking everything so seriously.

    So what I would hope for is the #2 scenario.... that this is all like some joke or game with many potential outcomes that we signed up for. Why? I wouldn’t know.... to be challenged, to experience, boredom? A child with this particular disease will physically cease to exist and then have a good laugh and smile with others about their role that they unknowingly played in the game of life. Was just a minor blip of time in eternity.
     
  15. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Your hostile combative one-sided negative view of a 'Source' some call God(s) is well documented.
     
  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Not refuted, just documented.
     
  17. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think the problem, or dilemma being generated, here, is due to an assumption that our ethical imperatives define what should be God's ethical imperatives. It doesn't occur to us that from God's perspective, the existence of the meteor that crashes into Earth and destroys all humankind is just as important as the humankind it wiped out. This is inconceivable to us, because we are not God. We did not create the universe and we do not know why it exists as it does. We cannot evaluate it, or God's actions or inaction in relation to it from God's perspective. So we evaluate them from our perspective, and come up with an inexplicable dilemma of an 'evil God'.
     
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  18. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    There is no way to refute the existence of God either way, but ancient worldviews of God(s) do not have a coherent argument when considering the universal perspective.
     
  19. Jacob Samuelson

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    You have developed a null loop with these sentences. You claim the perspective of God considers equal importance of all materials He has created. In other words, An ice rock being the same importance as billions of souls, yet than immediately state afterwards its inconceivable to understand God's perspective because we are not God. It seems you have created an idea just to immediately cancel it out. Which of those "creations" is more important to you as a human? The belief that God gave equal importance to everything, or the belief that Humans can't understand his perspective because they are not God. If you pick the former than you claim you understand God which nullifies the latter, if you pick the latter than latter than you would have no right to claim the former because you are not God and couldnt state his perspective in the way you have. If you say that they are equally important than you just have no idea what you believe as you cant have position to contradicting ideas. I am not stating you are right or wrong, I am just trying to understand where youre going with your comment?
     
  20. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    It is a reasonable belief that if God exists and Created our physical existence than all of our existence including ice rock(?) are intimately interrelated and inseperable from the Quantum particle to humanity throughout the billions of years of our physical existence.
     
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