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Featured Special Pleading and the PoE (Part 3)

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Meow Mix, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Actually, that is exactly how evolution works: those genes that don't promote reproduction tend to go extinct.
     
  2. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Neither for the purposes of the post (I have my doubts that any god is real; but God's existence is taken for granted for the argument itself). Even outside of the argument, I am not a materialist. Existence isn't the same thing as physical. For instance, logical limitation exists, but it isn't physical. So reality is just the summation of existence and the qualities and properties thereof.

    I understand that feeling. This might be one of those times. If reality is God's dream, I think that would be some form of pantheism; but it seems to me as though the premises would still matter (unless God doesn't have conscious control over what happens to that dream).


    If such a being doesn't know that suffering hurts without first experiencing it, then it may be the same as abandoning the omnibenevolence/omniscience qua omniscience premises of the PoE. If such a being does know what suffering is yet still allows it after the fact, that's definitely abandoning benevolence.
     
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  3. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    This was the argument: not that God told us what to believe, but that God gave us the mental faculties capable of discerning moral things.

    It is unusual, though perhaps not internally inconsistent, to believe in God and not be a moral realist. The argument was aimed at the latter. I myself am a moral noncognitivist, but the argument is working from within a set of premises.

    I covered this in a different thread, so it's fair that you may not have seen it. If God is responsible for the physical laws of the universe, and it's possible to make those physical laws such that leukemia can't develop (it is possible, argued elsewhere), then God is responsible for leukemia existing because God had the option not to set things up such that it occurs. Furthermore, thanks to omniscience, God knew it would develop and did it anyway. So yes, given the premises of omnipotence and omniscience, God is responsible for leukemia occurring (and by definition, knowingly so).

    It's not congruent with omnibenevolence to knowingly cause leukemia to be possible; we don't have to use the words "good" or "bad" if we don't like them.

    Outside of the premises of this argument -- if I were answering this question from my own perspective -- this is a no brainer because life that doesn't "want" to survive doesn't, and goes extinct; leaving only life that takes steps to ensure its own survival.

    Pain can only be positive when it prevents future pain as you note. Obviously in a world where physical suffering didn't exist, you wouldn't need any pain for this purpose. You wouldn't have to learn by touching the hot burner not to touch the hot burner if the hot burner could never hurt you. See?
     
  4. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    God doesn't have to make us infinite, but if God is benevolent, God would equip us with functioning cognitive faculties. So, a moral faculty would be one such faculty. We don't have to perfectly know at all times the total summation of what is good or bad. But we would need to be able to see or interact with something and have a sense that tells us if it's moral at all, and if so, if it's good or bad.

    Similarly, God doesn't have to make us omniscient as long as God gives us functioning cognitive faculties to discern truth from falsity. If I observe that tigers eat people, because I have functioning cognitive faculties I can lead myself to true beliefs like "see tiger eat person --> tigers eat people" rather than "see tiger eat person --> purple smells like bacon."

    Logical possibility is about internal consistency: something is logically possible if it can be imagined only in the sense that if it can be imagined it means it's cognizable, which means that it's internally consistent when all things are considered.
     
  5. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    We will have to just tease out some clarifications again on some of these. For instance I assume we're using another premise God intends for there to be free will (rather than finding some number I'm going to call this P), if you will grant that premise with me. Then we have to make some stipulations about (1), because we can find an example where (1) bumps into (P) in a messy way: God may not want something like broken friendship, but because of P, God must allow it.

    But this has been covered in my past posts in this series. I will recap. Given (P), even God's omnipotence and omniscience can't prevent a world in which things like broken friendship, lies, unrequited love, and insults exist: this is because of (P). I do not think these things run afoul of the PoE for this reason: God is not culpable for them, simply put.

    However, even given (P), something like leukemia doesn't need to exist: a state of affairs where it is incapable of existing would not be equivalent to (¬P) in the same way that the nonexistence of broken friendship strongly implies (¬P). God could create a world without physical suffering while still satisfying (P), but God could not create a world without emotional suffering while still satisfying (P), at least under reasonable stipulations like that the world has more than one agent in it and so on.

    So all we need to do is realize we needed to tease out a little more about (1) when we were trying to make it explicit in the first place:
    1'. In terms of the physical rules and laws of the universe and while preserving (P), what God wants is the same as what God allows.

    So what we'd be saying here is that if leukemia is possible because of the way the physics and chemistry and biology of the universe exists, God is culpable for all of the consequences of how that stuff runs. Since leukemia is a consequence of how that stuff runs, God is culpable for leukemia; and since God had to have known it would be a consequence, it means God wanted it to exist. Now, I know you have an objection where you blame it on The Fall, but see below for a response to that.

    (I think you can see that we would follow a similar process to arrive at a more precise (3') as well, preserving (P) while distinguishing physical suffering that God is culpable for from emotional suffering that God is not culpable for).

    This response does not work. We can't blame leukemia on the Fall as if it's not God that changes the world to include leukemia. Are you saying that Adam and Eve had godlike powers to alter the fabric of reality?

    Finite, created beings follow laws; and within theism-land, God is the arbiter of those laws. If the law is "if you sin, death happens," guess who wrote the law? God would still be culpable for having made it that way, and intending for the law to be that way.. Plus that gets really hairy and goes into injustices like punishing descendants for the crimes of ancestors, punishments being disproportional to crimes, we would be parsing that one out for a very long time.

    For instance, let me recall a Star Trek: TNG episode where Wesley steps on some grass on a planet where all laws carry the death penalty. We can say that Wesley had a part in the culpability for that death (if it happened), but the lawmakers are not exempt of culpability for an unjust law causing undue suffering that otherwise did not have to exist.

    So even if we try to blame the Fall, it is God that set the world's physics to be the way it is, and God that caused leukemia to be possible, and God would have known this would be the case. Can't escape God intending leukemia to exist if it exists. We can perhaps say God didn't like doing it, but not that God didn't intend to do it (but then we still have all the problems with disproportionate justice, etc.)

    So, the premise that God intended leukemia to exist if it exists still obtains.

    Going to have to complete the rest in another post.
     
  6. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    The only thing God has no control over is whether people decide not to be friends with each other anymore, or insult one another, etc.

    Everything else about the universe God has control over. So, sure, maybe God would know that one day Bill & Ted might no longer be best buds and be helpless to stop it (to maintain (P)), but anything dealing with the physical universe and Bill & Ted God has absolute control over.

    Going to disagree on this point: free will doesn't require the ability to "choose wrong." If I set two doors in front of you and behind one is kittens and behind the other is a nice beverage or something, you're still making a choice. You're not less free somehow than in another universe where instead I put a face-eating monster behind one of the doors. We do not have to be able to physically suffer in order to be free.

    Now, I've already said that emotional suffering is different. Obviously we wouldn't be free if we couldn't break off a friendship with someone (the example I keep using, sorry for its overuse).

    The only thing that adding a "wrong choice" does in terms of physical outcomes is cementing the potentiality that the choice-giver is malevolent.
     
  7. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    Dear Meow Mix

    Thanks for taking your time to read and reply to my comments to your thread.


    Surely not quite; God would not be in you, but rather you would be in God.


    I’d put it slightly differently: it would not be a question of not knowing that suffering hurts, but rather a case of suffering (and everything else) not existing other than as an experience.

    This makes a difference because it would mean that - while all that can be, can be known - nothing known to us (Man) could be understood without us.

    The way I see it, the implications of all 4 Omni-concepts, entirely depend on what understanding of “reality” is used.
    In short: to believe in a divine omni-4, reality must be non-physical + completely “abstract” and worldliness must be a hypothesis.


    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  8. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

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    You are not aware that your conclusion is based on premises you can't assume are true. Premises which, according to the Bible, aren't true.
    The Scriptures I already gave in my previous posts refutes your premises - but you don't seem to understand the implications of the Scriptures and supporting logic I gave and why they refute your premises. So I will try to explain it a bit more for you.

    Your premises:
    1. That death and corruption entered the world because "man messed up".
    2. That it's God's fault that man messed up.
    3. That man messed up because God's world is faulty in it's design.
    4. That God's understanding of what could happen makes him responsible for what does happen.

    The fundamental error in your approach is erroneously assuming that death/corruption are part of the design feature of the world.
    If that premise isn't true then none of the other conclusions that depend on that are logically valid.

    Things you cannot show using Scripture:
    1. That God created death as a feature of creation for Adam.
    2. That God introduced death into the world at a later point.

    And if you cannot show either of those things to be true then you cannot logically accuse God's design of being faulty or God of being responsible for the introduction of death into the world.

    Now, that by itself might not answer the question of "how then, did death enter into the world"?
    And that is a good and valid question to ask.

    But we can't get into examining the possible answers for how something happened unless we can first logically identify what can't be true based on what we know.

    And based on what we know in Scripture, your hypothesis about how death entered the world doesn't fit the data we have.


    Before you ask that question we first have to deal with the false presumptions you are asking the question with.

    If you approach the question with false premises then it could distort your ability to accurately determine what the answer is to that question.
     
  9. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

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    Your claim is demonstrably false and obviously logically absurd.

    If you claim that Jesus walked the earth as a pink elephant, and I claim Jesus walked the earth as a Jewish man, then you would have us believe that we can't logically settle the issue of what Jesus was by looking at the Scripture for observational evidence that would lead us to a clear conclusion on the matter.

    Obviously then, we can make objectively true statements about what the Bible does and does not say.

    The question is simply a matter of which things in Scripture can be logically shown to be true and which are too ambiguous to make a clear determination on?

    The fact is, a lot more things in Scripture can be said to be clearly true or false than you would have us believe.

    Because if you tried to logically disprove any of the conclusions I gave about what Scripture is saying it would become apparent to you very quickly that your differing interpretations do not logically hold up as a valid way of reading the text.

    That's why we have this thing called "logic". It's objective by definition because it's either true or false, like math. Logic is either objectively invalid or valid. It is never subjective. Everyone is subject to the same laws of logic just as they are subject to the same laws of math, so logic is one the only ways in which we have common ground to come to shared conclusions about what we observe to be true.

    Logic allows us to figure out which viewpoints about what the Bible says are impossible and which aren't.

    Only if two competing viewpoints can't be ruled out as impossible do we when move on to the stage of reason where we try to infer what is the most likely answer based on what we know.

    The problem with your viewpoints is they have already been ruled out as impossible based on what the Scripture says.

    There is therefore no logical room for you to claim that your viewpoint is more likely to be true than the conclusion I gave you about those Scriptures.

    There is also therefore no room for you to even claim that the Scriptures are too ambiguous on this issue and therefore we just can't know which conclusion is true.



    You've got a big problem then. You have denied that logic can be used to identify what is true.

    Which is ironic because you're trying to use logic to prove that the Scripture can only be subjective, therefore your position that Logic can't be used to determine what is objectively true about Scripture is self refuting.

    The problem with your approach is that it's two fatal logical fallacies:
    1. The fallacy of appeal to authority.
    2. The fallacy of argument by assertion.

    You can't logically prove your view of Scripture is true - you can only appeal to the authority of your religious leader.

    And why do we say your religious leader's declaration of truth is true? Just because he says so.

    What if your leader's conclusions are not logically consistent with what the text says?
    What do you do then?
    Believe his word over the Bible?

    You might say "But I believe his view is actually consistent with what the Bible says"?

    Oh really? Then why aren't you willing to test that hypothesis by submitting his view of the Bible to logical scrutiny in comparison to what the whole Bible actually says?

    You see, Bible believing Christians do believe they need to harmonize the teachings of Jesus with everything else God said in the Bible previously - because the Bible says God is unchanging and doesn't lie.
    That's why Mormonism was rejected as not consistent with everything we know to be in the Bible.

    If your religious leaders are telling you things that can't be logically reconciled with what the Bible says then one of those two things logically has to be wrong.

    Your opinion is not relevant to proving or disproving anything about what the Bible actually says if you can't give us any logically valid reasons why we should think your opinion is more likely to be true than any other conclusion.

    I have already given Scriptures which show your conclusions can't be true.
    You haven't attempted to refute the logic behind my conclusions.


    No debate, by definition, can be had if you don't recognize that logic is a valid way of pointing us to what is true vs what is false.

    If you don't think you need to abide by the laws of logic then there is no common ground to be had for a debate.

    You aren't debating if you are just spouting your opinion at someone and can't give logical arguments for why your conclusion has to be true or is even more likely to be true.
     
  10. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Right, ' thinking that's horrible..... ' is Not ignoring one's compass (biblical conscience)
    Ignored would be Not thinking...... or Not feeling.....

    In Jesus' story about the neighborly good Samaritan one should Not ignore, but help someone suffering on a one-on-one basis as best as possible.
     
  11. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    In the Bible, God does Not abandon benevolence, rather it's God's enemy who challenges God.
    Sinner Satan challenges God and mankind in the book of Job chapters one and two.
    That when our ' flesh...' (physical health) is touched/affected we would Not serve God - Job 2:4-5.
    Under adverse suffering both Job and Jesus proved Satan a liar and so can we.
    The passing of time was needed for us to be born and think who we would like as Sovereign over us.
    The passing of time to also answer Satan's challenge to all of humanity.
    In the Bible, Jesus will undo all the damage Satan and Adam bought upon us:
    ALL suffering will end because there will be ' healing ' for earth's nations as per Revelation 22:2.
    No one will say, " I am sick......" - Isaiah 33:24
    People will be perfectly healthy as described in Isaiah 35th chapter.
    Even 'enemy death' will be No more according to 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Isaiah 25:8.
    This is why we are all invited to pray the invitation of Rev. 22:20 for Jesus to come !
     
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  12. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    How can death/corruption not be part of the design?

    It is the only logical conclusion. If we assume an omniscient designer, any designed thing can only behave in ways that the designer could foresee.
     
  13. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    I agree that logical possibility has to be shown. That's why accepting a statement just because it isn't obviously self-contradictory definitely does not suffice.

    Why must God equip us with what you call "functioning cognitive faculties"?
    You seem to agree that we don't need to know what is good or bad, but then you insist that we must be able to tell if anything is good or bad simply by seeing it (or "interacting" with it).
    You seem to agree that we don't need to be omniscient, but then insist we be able to tell the truth or falsity of... anything.
    What does it mean for something to be "internally consistent when all things are considered"? How do you consider ALL things?

    It seems to me that if we accept that there are limitations to our knowledge, power, and morality, then it makes sense that we aren't able to look at, for example, a child suffering from leukemia and necessarily know immediately whether this is good or bad in an ultimate cognizant sense (all things considered).
    If I suppose it is good, can I give God credit? If I suppose it is bad, can I blame God? And if I can't assign my own subjective valuation to the situation (for whatever reason), does it really follow that God is not that great?

    On the other hand, if God certainly bestowed these "functioning cognitive faculties" to us as he ought and we never saw "bad" things... then functioning moral faculties would seem to have... no actual function.

    Fun Thought Experiment: The Invention of Lying, by Ricky Gervais, posits a world where no one ever lies.
     
  14. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    Religion:
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    Yes, Obviously.
    But they are not "Trying" to extinct, they try to survive but can't.
    Still, the driving force of life is survival.
     
  15. Segev Moran

    Segev Moran Well-Known Member

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    Yes. True. And this ability was "broken" once we chose to have our own understanding of "good" and "bad".
    Now the road for humanity is to understand the right path to follow.
    How would you define Moral?
    But that's exactly the philosophical idea behind the first "sin".
    The story of Eden depicts a state of "perfection". This means that life and balance of existence were not flawed.
    Once "Adam" chose to "break" this perfection, it caused a whole different set of laws.
    If at this point "God" would cancel the freedom of choice, the whole point of our existence would have become obsolete.
    Most atheists (as Myself a few years back) find it hard to understand how much "power" we have.
    It is a misconception to think that Theists (although some do) "Throw" their responsibility to God.
    It is the other way around. The amount of responsibility you realize you have is a very scary thing to understand.
    As we advance scientifically, we slowly understand how much damage or good the human species can cause to earth and the universe.
    Leukemia is a consequence.
    Same as any other disease.
    The existence of these diseases is a consequence of a very ancient path taken.
    I am sure that in the future, once we have a better understanding of our health, leukemia will be just another small thing.
    I can assure you that the number of cancerous diseases was not that high 1000 years ago.
    So fat, any discovery and observation that we made, demonstrated that every living thing is trying its best to survive.
    Many (99%~) of those failed. But without a doubt, all species didn't go extinct because they "chose" to terminate their existence.
    I Do See :)
    A world without a need for pain sounds like Heaven ;)
    The "pain" was introduced to us by choice (not personal, rather collective), as a consequence of our selections.
    The same goes for any misery or sadness we experience in our life (once again, not personal, rather collective selections).
    We can solve world hunger in a few weeks... yet we are still not willing to accept the fact that we are all one collective and not really single entites.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You have that right. Physical death was part of the design, and the design could only behave in a way the designer could foresee since God foresees everything that will ever happen. However foreknowledge of what will happen is not what causes anything to happen. Humans cause things to happen in this world, not God.

    God had foreknowledge of what man would do because because God knows everything that ever happened, is happening, or ever will happen, but what God knows is not the cause of things.

    “Every act ye meditate is as clear to Him as is that act when already accomplished. There is none other God besides Him. His is all creation and its empire. All stands revealed before Him; all is recorded in His holy and hidden Tablets. This fore-knowledge of God, however, should not be regarded as having caused the actions of men, just as your own previous knowledge that a certain event is to occur, or your desire that it should happen, is not and can never be the reason for its occurrence.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 150


    As I said above, the design could only behave in a way the designer could foresee since God foresees everything that will ever happen. The caveat is that man was designed with two natures , a spiritual nature and a material nature, and man was given free will to choose to act according to one of those two natures. So corruption was possible only because man could choose to follow his material nature. It does not have to be that way because man can choose to follow his spiritual nature. The reason Christ sacrificed Himself was so that men might be freed from the imperfections of the physical nature and become possessed of the virtues of the spiritual nature.

    “In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men. In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature. Every good habit, every noble quality belongs to man’s spiritual nature, whereas all his imperfections and sinful actions are born of his material nature. If a man’s Divine nature dominates his human nature, we have a saint.” Paris Talks, p. 60

    To read more: THE TWO NATURES IN MAN
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Things you cannot show using Scripture:
    1. That God did not create death as a feature of creation.
    2. That God introduced death into the world at a later point.

    Man existed long before Adam and Eve allegedly existed so that means that Adam and Eve were not the first man and woman on Earth. That means that humans lived and died long before the Bible was recorded. If they had not lived and died before that the world would have been grossly overpopulated by now. This is logic 101 stuff.

    While our ancestors have been around for about six million years, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in the earnest only in the 1800s.Jan 19, 2015

    How Long Have Humans Been On Earth? - Universe Today
     
  18. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

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    You can't provide any proof of your claim based on the Bible.

    Thus, you can't make any argument that Christians should have to believe that to be the case.

    And therefore you can't use that belief to argue about Christian theology having any contradictions with itself.

    And if you are trying to appeal to historical science to dispute what the Bible says then you're talking about opening up a different kind of debate which would not be relevant to disputing Christian theology on the logical basis that you think it is self contradictory (as the original claim at the start of this thread was).

    No one ever claimed Adam wrote the Bible, nor does any belief require that he did, therefore your point is not relevant.

    There are three problems with your argument:

    1. It's not relevant to the issue in contention here. You're assuming man is as old as mainstream scientists claim. I could show it's speculation that can't be proven and there is evidence to the opposite conclusion - but I don't need to do that here because the answer is not relevant either way to a theological debate over what the Bible says is true and whether or not what the Bible says is a theologically consistent with itself with regards to telling us truth about God and His creation. You're going off topic by trying to start a debate over mainstream science vs creation science/Bible. It's a debate that could be had but it's not a debate that would be directly relevant to establishing the issue currently in contention about whether or not our inner sense of right and wrong contradicts what Christian theology says about God and His creation.


    2. Your objection to the idea that Adam could have lived forever physically, on purely logical grounds, is more relevant, but ultimately doesn't represent a genuine logical problem with Christian theology but rather just a lack of imagination on your part about ways in which this apparent dilemma could be solved.

    Atheists often challenge Christianity on the basis that it doesn't make sense to them that God would create such a giant universe with no discernible purpose or other life in it - but what if it's not without reason? What if the time has just not yet come for it to be filled?

    Certainly a valid possibility is that God always intended for the man to fill the earth but then he had a plan already to go for what to do when that happened.
    Maybe there's a reason mankind likes the idea of colonizing the universe? Maybe it was part of God's plan from the start?

    We don't need to be able to prove that is what God intended, but only have to know it's a valid possibility, in order to accept the idea that a forever living physical Adam would not be a logical impossibility.


    3. Your non-biblical belief about the creation of mankind doesn't do anything to solve the objection meowmix put forward about how do you reconcile God's designs with our moral compass of what's good and bad.

    What I said about Scripture resolves the supposed problem by demonstrating that God didn't intend for death to be in the world which is why we feel death is a bad thing. Which is why God is going to one day remove it.

    Your answer doesn't solve the apparent contradiction. You just double down on it. By your reckoning you think God created death and designed it and intended for it to operate, and therefore presumably has no intention of removing it - all ideas that completely contradict what the Bible says (I've already given the verses in this thread to prove that).
    So you have no way of resolving meowmix's original question of why then we register it as a bad thing that people die. Because, by definition, God only does good things, so we should be registering death as a good thing if its part of God's design.

    Of course one could argue logically that perhaps if we just had God's perspective and complete knowledge then we'd understand why it's good, and maybe our inability to accurately gauge the goodness or something is a result of our spiritual separation from God - but the problem if you tried to argue that is that your viewpoint is still completely the opposite of what the Bible tells us and is incompatible with the Bible.

    So you can't claim to be advocating the "true interpretation" of the Bible when everything you are advocating is directly contradicted by what the Bible says all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

    What your sages claim to be true about the Bible cannot be true unless the Bible is false. Because what they teach and what the Bible says are in direct contradiction with each other.
    They cannot both be true at the same time.
     
    #138 Rise, Jul 31, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  19. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

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    You are committing the fallacy of appeal to personal incredulity.
    Your inability to understand how it could work does not prove it's untrue.

    You have not shown why it is logically necessary that we must conclude God had to intend for death to be in the world.

    Logically it is perfectly possible for God to create a world that did not have death/corruption as part of the design.

    Logically it is perfectly possible for death/corruption to enter the world in a way that God did not intend or want.

    You have not exposed any logical fault with these possibilities for us to be able to dismiss them as impossible.

    Therefore, you have no logical basis for claiming your conclusion is the only logical possibility left.

    Your argument is based on Biblically false premises, and logically invalid premises.

    The Bible tells us that God gave man free choice.
    Free choice can't logically exist if man's choice is bound up by the laws God has established to govern how his mind works.

    Furthermore, you are falsely assuming that God is not capable of creating things that can operate according to their own will, but that he is only capable of creating things which are governed by His will - which is something you have no reason to believe is true. And Biblically we know it's not true because the Bible tells us God did give man free will to choose.
     
  20. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
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    Please read my post again, and reply to what I actually said.
     
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