• telex
    103
    Well if a human has conscious thoughts, the human can at least know that his "mind" is real. But yes, the rest can and is very likely a digital projection of the self.

    Do you think Nick Bostrom does drugs? Is he secretly a junkie by night and a philosophy professor by day?
  • telex
    103
    People can have wicked ideas without being wicked. Islam doesnt think so but they are wrongGregory

    So is only Christianity right? Islam is wrong. What about the Jews? Are they kinda right or completely wrong?
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    Completely
  • telex
    103
    I believe you are entitled to those beliefs :)
  • telex
    103
    But maybe we've strayed too much from your original argument. Perhaps you should re-ask the question and someone else can answer it.
  • Tzeentch
    828
    If a God exists, presumably an afterlife exists. If an afterlife exists, death and pain as negative experiences are meaningless.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    So the first premise in this discussion is that animals are innocent. They are not capable of doing true evilGregory

    :ok:

    Now, it seems obvious that animals feel pain.Gregory

    :ok:

    Therefore, either

    1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evil

    2) God doesn't exist
    Gregory

    The problem with your argument is that first, you claim, rightly so, that animals are innocent, that "they are not capable of doing true evil" and then follow this up by declaring the world to be sinful or bad based on animal pain I presume.

    You're using two different benchmarks - intentions (to do harm) to decide animals are innocent and consequence (pain), e.g. when one animal kills another, to come to the conclusion that the world is sinful. But if animals are innocent, how can the world be bad? If the world isn't bad then, god's goodness remains intact, right?
  • Pro Hominem
    218
    The thing that most of the people, and all atheists, don't understand is that only God which can be grasped by reason exists. And that God is not perfect. Perfection and wholeness is beyond existence. Existence is bounded by non-existence and the True God is Absolute. You cannot put it in a box of logic.Eremit

    Paraphrased, one cannot make either logically valid or logically sound statements about God, because God is non-existent.

    If only people understood that, there would be no need for discusions like thisEremit

    Well said.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    If a God exists, presumably an afterlife exists. If an afterlife exists, death and pain as negative experiences are meaningless.Tzeentch

    I thought animals don't have an afterlife?

    You're using two different benchmarks - intentions (to do harm) to decide animals are innocent and consequence (pain), e.g. when one animal kills another, to come to the conclusion that the world is sinful. But if animals are innocent, how can the world be bad? If the world isn't bad then, god's goodness remains intact, right?TheMadFool

    I don't know about hyenas, but some animals are innocent. A bunny is innocent, obviously. So if you beat a bunny to death and he has no afterlife, what good does the pain do the bunny?

    It seems that saying pain is good to creatures would only apply to humans. Maybe we need pain to grow. But how can this apply to animals? If a kitten is innocent, any pain that befalls it must be good for it. But then, how does this situation reflect infinite goodness? If God is perfect, horrible things should not happen in this world. The pain should make sense.
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    I don't know about hyenas, but some animals are innocent. A bunny is innocent, obviously. So if you beat a bunny to death and he has no afterlife, what good does the pain do the bunny?

    It seems that saying pain is good to creatures would only apply to humans. Maybe we need pain to grow. But how can this apply to animals? If a kitten is innocent, any pain that befalls it must be good for it. But then, how does this situation reflect infinite goodness? If God is perfect, horrible things should not happen in this world. The pain should make sense.
    Gregory

    If one believes animals are innocent and incapable of evil then, it follows that there is no evil in the world - all is good whether there is pain or not. Pain is no longer relevant to the measure of evil.

    On the other hand if one feels pain is evil then there can be no such thing as innocence, all are evil those that cause pain.

    You have to make a choice between innocence and pain to decide whether our world is evil or not? Not an easy choice by any standard.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    No it's actually easy. The world allows evil for no reason when a puppy is tortured to death (sorry). Sorry again, but that seems to be the obvious. But it doesn't taint the whole. Evil intent is when a human violates his conscience
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    No it's actually easy. The world allows evil for no reason when a puppy is tortured to death (sorry). Sorry again, but that seems to be the obvious. But it doesn't taint the whole. Evil intent is when a human violates his conscienceGregory

    So, you want to run with pain as your yardstick? No one is innocent then, not even the bunny that accidentally tips over the kettle of scalding hot water on your lap, causing you painful third degree burns?
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    When did I say no one is innocent?
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    I don't judge people completely. I am not sure how to judge other species, but a rabbit and a sheep are innocent
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    When did I say no one is innocent?Gregory

    If there's such a thing as innocence then, pain can't be used as a metric for evil for the simple reason that the innocent can cause pain, accidentally.
  • Gregory
    1.9k


    That's a terrible argument. Innocent beings can cause pain and suffer pain. Pain is useful for some species perhaps, but God's goodness is reflected in nature you say. But innocent sheep are sometimes tortured. No good comes from that for the sheep. God dosnt protect the innocent
  • TheMadFool
    7.5k
    That's a terrible argument. Innocent beings can cause pain and suffer pain. Pain is useful for some species perhaps, but God's goodness is reflected in nature you say. But innocent sheep are sometimes tortured. No good comes from that for the sheep. God dosnt protect the innocentGregory

    I suppose it is; after all we can make a distinction between innocent pain - accidental - and evil pain - deliberate. Not all pain is evil because it's not true that the innocent never cause pain. I guess we need to examine the necessity for pain - try and square the, some might even say sadistic, inclusion of the ability to feel pain, excruciating pain and suffer, suffer greatly, with a benevolent god.

    Perhaps an analogy is in order. Imagine you're driving on a stretch of road, well built and well maintained, and you notice signs with appropriate warnings alerting you to possible dangers. The signs are there for a good reason - to prevent fatal crashes. Our pain sensing apparatus serve in the same capacity - drawing our attention to injury that, if not sensed and dealt with at the right time, could lead to severe disability or death.

    Too, if only evil pain is what bothers you, and this must be for innocent pain is amoral, then it's safe to say that only humans are capable of it - deliberately inducing pain for reasons ranging from play to frank sadism. I daresay the only evil in the world is humanity.

    However, in a curious twist of fate, homo sapiens (us) is the only species that has developed, notwithstanding the glaring imperfections, a system of morality. It's like god choosing the vilest, most depraved, individual in the world and making him/her a prophet, a divine messenger. This reminds me of the late Christopher Hitchens who, more than once, said that it made zero sense for god to have revealed himself to iron age illiterate tribal people living in the desert but if you really thinks about it, people who are utterly morally bankrupt are the ones actually in need of holy assisstance. Good people don't need god - that would be pointless, no point carrying coal to Newcastle - but bad people are in need of urgent divine intercession. Triage

    In summary, pain is necessary for survival given past and current realities. The only evil in this world is humanity and god, like the good doctor he is, has attended to this emergency three times (Moses, Jesus, Mohammed) in the deserts of the middle east. As odd as it sounds, humans are the problem and also the solution - we're the problem because we're the only ones capable of deliberately causing pain, evil, and we're the solution for the reason that we're the only ones to have come into contact with the divine essence - the sense of right and wrong - albeit these encounters were much too brief than we'd have liked or hoped.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    Not all pain is evil because it's not true that the innocent never cause pain.TheMadFool

    Evil can come from an innocent being or act.

    Our pain sensing apparatus serve in the same capacity - drawing our attention to injury that, if not sensed and dealt with at the right time, could lead to severe disability or death.TheMadFool

    God could easily give pleasure in order to avoid things instead of pain.

    I daresay the only evil in the world is humanity.TheMadFool

    I've already said that other species may be able to do intentional evil. Hyenas perhaps

    , humans are the problem and also the solutionTheMadFool

    We are very adaptable creatures. That is not an argument for or against God though

    Theists can use all the esoteric justifications for the pain sheep, rabbits, and other animals needlessly go through, but their logic is crazy. "God" in the Old Testament not only ordered the murder of men, women, children, and fetuses, but also the needless killing of sheep and the hamstringing of horses to be left to die. Use all your brain power to justify it. I don't care. I use common sense, and I know their justifications are nuts
  • Bitter Crank
    8.9k
    So the first premise in this discussion is that animals are innocent. They are not capable of doing true evil, they did not ask to exist, and they are good because they naturally follow their natures.Gregory

    I have conflicting thoughts about the innocence of animals. On the one hand, the various qualities attached to innocence -- free from moral wrong; without sin; pure; not involving evil intent or motive -- seem to fit animals. Actually, it fits humans a good share of the time as well. Barring the idea of original sin, we are not perpetually immersed in immorality, sin, impure behavior, evil intent or motive. We didn't ask to exist, either (just ask Schopenhauer1, TPF's leading lobbyist against unrequested existence), and we follow our natures. It adds up to our meeting your requirement of goodness. Somehow, though, a lot of us manage to be quite bad much of the time (but nobody here, of course).

    On the other hand, most animals (or all of them except us?) seem to be outside moral categories. They are neither innocent nor guilty. There is no guile in their following their nature (which isn't to say they never deceive one another as part of their nature. Many animals practice behaviors akin to deception). They cause pain to other creatures because they have no options. A wolf, lion, eagle, or porpoise can not eat without causing pain.

    When we are not being evil we are as innocent as other animals.

    That is as far as I am willing to go.

    Therefore, either

    1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evil

    2) God doesn't exist
    Gregory

    I am not willing to play logic games with God -- NOT because I am afraid of offending god, but because I believe

    1) God doesn't exist

    or

    2) God is sufficiently unknowable that he might as well not exist. I just don't buy the idea of a supreme being who can be sorted out into various capacities and features like beetles. I might be willing to affirm the existence of a god who is just plain unknowable, but who presumably exists because some people require a first cause. I think I can get along without a first cause too.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    I just don't buy the idea of a supreme being who can be sorted out into various capacities and features like beetles.Bitter Crank

    That's just hiding beyond esotericism in order to avoid the issues. Lions and dogs are probably, I would say certainly, innocent. Just because an innocent lion eats an innocent gazelle, that doesn't mean the gazelle deserves pain. I think the examples of sheep and rabbits are the best to illustrate my point. Imagine a sheep living in pain for years. It's simply pointless and there is no way a good God would have allowed it. I say come to grips that this world is imperfect and stop trying to justify thing wrong
  • Bitter Crank
    8.9k
    It's simply pointless and there is no way a good God would have allowed it.Gregory

    You know what a good God would allow and would not allow? How did you come by this rare knowledge?

    Apparently -- if one goes by doctrine and experience -- God created the world and decided that pain and suffering was/is/are/will be acceptable. God could have designed the world in other ways, but he didn't.

    I say come to grips that this world is imperfect and stop trying to justify thing wrongGregory

    Well, I think I have come to grips with a very imperfect world--the world is appallingly unsatisfactory. God doesn't need our defense or justification -- as if we even knew what had to be defended and justified.
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    You know what a good God would allow and would not allow? How did you come by this rare knowledge?Bitter Crank

    Common sense, natural law, and reason.

    Every Christian, to a "man", I've asked if they would kill somebody if God asked them to said yes. I can't reason about animals with people who have this mentality. They've committed murder of the heart, which even Jesus said sends you to Gehenna. Jesus was a mentally ill man who noticed he was born in the place that the Messiah was supposed to come from and he tried to fulfill the prophecies. I hear that a good book that talks how Jesus intentionally set out to fulfill the messianic prophecies is The Passover Plot: New Light on the History of Jesus by Hugh Schonfield. John Lennon read it
  • Gregory
    1.9k
    The object of the thread has been a success. Theists are revealed as excusing God from morality because of his alleged mysteriousness. Sadly, they often excuse themselves therefore from morality. I read one Christian blog on how the Jews hamstrung horses in the OT. The writer said "I want to hamstring a horse for God". Sad, immoral, evil
  • Joel Evans
    23
    Dear Gregory,

    In your recent post, you made the following claim:
    So the first premise in this discussion is that animals are innocent. They are not capable of doing true evil, they did not ask to exist, and they are good because they naturally follow their natures. Now, it seems obvious that animals feel pain. If animals do not feel true pain then it would not be wrong to torture them. Therefore, either 1) The world, which reflects God nature, proves that God is not all good. If it's not in God's nature to create a world and allow humans to sin all the while protecting the innocent from pain, then God's nature is imperfect or evil 2) God doesn't exist.
    I think your argument has this form:

    1) If God creates a world where animals experience pain, then either God is not good, or God doesn’t exist.
    2) God created a world where animals experience pain.
    3) Therefore, either God is not good, or God doesn’t exist (from 1, 2 via modus ponens).

    If this argument works, it is exceptionally problematic for theistic belief, as it either shows that God does not exist or is not good. I have the following objection to this argument: The conditional expressed in premise one is problematic. Just because animals experience pain does not mean that God is not good, or God does not exist. It is entirely possible that animals could experience pain and even death in the world God created and God could still be good. This could be a natural part of life for animals. It would be wrong if God tortured animals, but the presence of pain in animals on its own is not enough to affect the goodness of God. Pain itself is not a bad thing. It is a natural indicator of something going wrong within or to an organism. In this way, pain itself is not necessarily a bad thing and so is compatible with the existence of a good God. In other words, if God created a world where animals experience pain, he could exist, and he could be good. Because of this compatibility, premise one is faulty, and the argument is unsound.

    Sincerely,
    Joel
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    It is a natural indicator of something going wrong within or to an organism. In this way, pain itself is not necessarily a bad thing and so is compatible with the existence of a good God. In other words, if God created a world where animals experience pain, he could exist, and he could be good. Because of this compatibility, premise one is faulty, and the argument is unsound.Joel Evans

    But supposedly God created the conditions of a world where there is pain for this animal, so God is not a passive bystander here. If he is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent then there could have been a world where something like pain was not necessary for an indicator that "something was wrong". In fact, there could be a universe where nothing is wrong. If however, there by logic, can never be such a universe, well then one of those omnis is wrong at least as God is constrained by some other necessity, which kind of knocks his powers down a peg. So therefore, if this ridiculous mythos of a God is true, then he wanted a universe where there was pain. This then leads to the fact that God might have some sadistic tendencies. Then if you add in that we are supposed to "learn" from our trials and tribulations on the planet, God is some sort of petty game-designer that wants to see participants go through suffering in order to overcome it. It sounds like this God is just a projection of us. He is looking all too human. Yet it is said, we are made in his image. I think this is pointing in a hall of mirrors.. It all points back to us.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    I am not entirely sure why he would need to create a world without pain. In a perfect world, organisms are designed to do certain things (eat certain foods, live in certain climates). Pain could just be a natural way for those organisms to "walk the line" (to maintain balance in other words). I don't see that as a thing that conflicts with any of God's omni-characteristics
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I am not entirely sure why he would need to create a world without pain. In a perfect world, organisms are designed to do certain things (eat certain foods, live in certain climates). Pain could just be a natural way for those organisms to "walk the line" (to maintain balance in other words). I don't see that as a thing that conflicts with any of God's omni-characteristicsJoel Evans

    Because if you do believe that God is free to do what he wants, he could have made a world without negative experiences for his little subjects. He didn't.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    I don't think that pain on its own is a negative experience in a way that affects the good-making qualities of God. Having a fully functioning nervous system that gives us the capacity for both pleasure and pain seems like a good thing to me, even if that means we (or animals) can feel pain.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I don't think that pain on its own is a negative experience in a way that affects the good-making qualities of God. Having a fully functioning nervous system that gives us the capacity for both pleasure and pain seems like a good thing to me, even if that means we (or animals) can feel pain.Joel Evans

    This is all a tautology infused with naturalistic fallacy, and has no defense that, indeed it does affect the "good-making" qualities of God. We have nervous systems, therefore it is good, is about equivalent to what you are saying.

    Rather, you have not defended that we have pain- whatever avenue this is attributed to (neruons, etc.). and that supposedly, if nature is created by God, that indeed, he participated in the conditions for pain to be possible.

    Now, if you think causing the conditions for which pain takes place is a good thing, we have no further argument as I believe that to be unjustified causation of a bad experience for another and you believe this is perfectly moral. However, if you think that it is wrong to create conditions of pain for others, then there is a problem for your omnibenevolent belief.
  • Joel Evans
    23
    But God didn't create the conditions of pain. He merely gave us the capacity to feel pain. That's besides the point though. You and I have been talking past each other. I don't think the presence of pain is a bad thing, and you do. I think that the good of having a fully-formed nervous system (pain, pleasure, and all feelings included) is better than having no fully-formed nervous system and no pain.
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