• ToothyMaw
    743
    There's a gap between what god commands and what we do, a point at which we make a decision to do as commanded or not.Banno

    I think I see what you are getting at, and I definitely like it. But how does one's decision determine anything? If god commands something is right, isn't it right independent of what we do or think?

    I mean I appreciate the weight you are giving us as choice-makers, but how does that mean anything in the face of omnipotence?

    And I'm sure some, including myself, will always be rebels, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be honest about what we're rebelling against.
  • Banno
    16.9k
    But how does one's decision determine anything?ToothyMaw

    Exactly that: it is your decision that determines what you choose. If you decide eating babies is wrong, but you do it because god commands it, then you are doing evil.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    How on earth can one have reason to believe that they have received revelation other than some sort of subjective experience? Furthermore, how would reason have greater authority than the revelation received? It is quite literally the word of god, so it cannot be challenged. Maybe reason can aid in its application, however?ToothyMaw

    This takes us away from the topic. My point was that there's no higher authority than reason - so, if, for example, you think there is no reason to take what you thought was a revelation to be a revelation, then you'd just consider it a dream; whereas if you thought it really was a revelation, it'd be because you thought there was reason to think it was. Pointing out that there is no higher authority than God misses the point, for all it does is show that God and Reason are the same person.

    What our punishments must be for our guilt is already known by god, so he knows exactly what each of us is going to be exposed to and could arrange the world in such a way as to make the punishments make sense if he wanted. Yet he doesn't do this.ToothyMaw

    Yes, he could - that's one option, one possibility. But it seems more efficient and consistent with being good to expose people to a risk of harm, rather than actually to mete the harm out oneself. I also think God would be ignorant of much of what goes on here, for why would God trouble himself to find out what people he hates are getting up to?

    Thus, god punishes unjustly, and therefore is unjust. I don't know how that ties into omnibenevolence, but an unjust god seems undesirable.ToothyMaw

    That's just question begging. As I keep pointing out, being good doesn't involve indiscriminately preventing harms - it matters who is coming to harm. Good people among us do not campaign to release prisoners from jails, do we? We're not less good for that. They deserve to be there and releasing them would pose a great danger to others.

    And again, our moral intuitions about moral desert, which undoubtedly exist, tell us that God wants those who do wrong to come to harm.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    And if you want confirmation that we are living in a prison, just look around you at others, or look inside yourself. Notice that pretty much everyone you meet has some vice or other. And notice that you do too.
    — Bartricks

    True enough.
    ToothyMaw

    So you accept that this is a world full of wrongdoers - full of people who deserve to come to harm of one sort or another. And it is a world in which they do!

    If one is in any doubt about the justice of the world, just consider parents. They have a god-like power to subject what they take to be an innocent person to a lifetime here. They know what the world is like - they know that it is a place full of risks of harm of every conceivable kind. And yet they decide to go ahead and subject an 'innocent' (so, not actually an innocent, but someone they take to be one) to a life here. Well, surely that person now deserves to be exposed to the risks that living here involves? If you subject someone else to a lifetime of risk, you deserve to be exposed to a lifetime of risk yourself.

    So, the fact that most people voluntarily procreate shows that most people are of a sort that deserve to be exposed to the risks that living here poses. Of course, they already deserved to be living here, else they wouldn't be here (God does not punish the innocent). So they've just earnt themselves another life stretch. The point, though, is that most people demonstrate well enough by their behaviour why they deserve to be here.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    This thread is about the problem of evil, not the credibility of a divine command metaethics. Focus.
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    Yes, he could - that's one option, one possibility. But it seems more efficient and consistent with being good to expose people to a risk of harm, rather than actually to mete the harm out oneself. I also think God would be ignorant of much of what goes on here, for why would God trouble himself to find out what people he hates are getting up to?Bartricks

    Is god aware of what is going to happen to people or not? If so he is unjust if the harm incurred by different people is disproportionate to their guilt. If not he is not omniscient*.

    Yes, he could - that's one option, one possibility. But it seems more efficient and consistent with being good to expose people to a risk of harm, rather than actually to mete the harm out oneself. I also think God would be ignorant of much of what goes on here, for why would God trouble himself to find out what people he hates are getting up to?Bartricks

    But he is omniscient. How could he be ignorant of anything? And what is the difference between meting out the punishment and allowing a horrible fate to befall one that could be easily prevented? And even if everyone is merely exposed to the same risk of harm then that too is disproportionate to people's guilt, because we are not all equally guilty (presumably).

    And why the everlasting fuck would god be concerned with efficiency? He can do anything he wants whenever he wants and can exist for as long as he wants. Do you think he conjures up computers and simulates different eventualities? Oh, that's right, he wouldn't - because he's god.
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    So you accept that this is a world full of wrongdoers - full of people who deserve to come to harm of one sort or another. And it is a world in which they do!Bartricks

    Never said I think people deserve to come to harm; even despicable people need to be loved and rehabilitated. If harm befalls them during this process then so be it, but other than that I don't think anyone deserves harm.
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    That's just question begging. As I keep pointing out, being good doesn't involve indiscriminately preventing harms - it matters who is coming to harm. Good people among us do not campaign to release prisoners from jails, do we? We're not less good for that. They deserve to be there and releasing them would pose a great danger to others.Bartricks

    I would campaign to release all non-violent drug offenders, like any other good person would. And no, I'm not committing your favorite fallacy. I'm saying if god allows people to come to disproportionate harm then he is unjust - not unjust for not preventing all harm.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    I'm saying if god allows people to come to disproportionate harm then he is unjust - not unjust for not preventing all harm.ToothyMaw

    And where do I say otherwise? You don't seem to understand my position. If God exists, he does not allow injustices to occur. He's good and omnipotent, for goodness sake! So, we can conclude that we either deserve every single bad - or apparently bad - thing that happens to us, or we can conclude - and this, I think, is the more reasonable conclusion for reasons already given - that we deserved to be exposed to the risk of harm.

    Note, if I buy a lottery ticket and win the lottery, I did not 'deserve' to win the lottery. I deserved the chance of winning it. Nevertheless, my winning it is not an injustice.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    Never said I think people deserve to come to harm; even despicable people need to be loved and rehabilitated. If harm befalls them during this process then so be it, but other than that I don't think anyone deserves harm.ToothyMaw

    Well, that's a controversial and counter-intuitive moral view. My view is respects our moral intuitions about what goodness actually involves; you're just ignoring some of them.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    Is god aware of what is going to happen to people or not? If so he is unjust if the harm incurred by different people is disproportionate to their guilt. If not he is not omniscient*.ToothyMaw

    Again, why do you keep just insisting that people are being punished disproportionate to their guilt?
    If that's not something a good person would allow, then God doesn't allow it and no one is being punished disproportionately! You just keep blithely ignoring the very argument I am giving.

    God does not disproportionately punish! Thus, if God exists, no one is being disproportionately punished. Logic!

    That does not mean that everyone deserves every bad thing that happens to them - though that would be consistent with the thesis - for it could be that what we deserve is to face the 'risk' of harm.

    The point remains, however, that God is not going to punish unjustly: he's good and omnipotent.
    Thus, if He exists, nothing unjust is happening here.
    Wrongdoing yes. But no injustice.

    As to whether God is aware - no, I suspect not. As I have already said, I don't see why a good omnipotent person would bother trying to find out what is happening to us here.

    If you think that's incompatible with being omniscient, then you're wrong, as omnisicence involves being in possession of all knowledge, not all truths. It is up to God what he is or is not ignorant of.
  • ToothyMaw
    743


    According to what criterion can we determine if God is unjust? What set of rules do we have that give us an idea of whether or not we are each being punished justly? Is it not counter-intuitive to believe that god would allow a child-murderer to live in better health than a pious, god-fearing preacher that develops Huntington's?
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    According to what criterion can we determine if God is unjust?ToothyMaw

    We use our reason. Our faculty of reason is our source of insight into what is right and good. And from such intuitions we can infer something about God's character. So, God hates it when people are unkind. I infer that from the fact that we all seem bid - and bid in no uncertain terms - be kind. God is clearly pro kindness, then. And God seems to hate unkindness so much that he wants those who are unkind to come to harm. I infer that from the fact my reason tells me that if someone is unkind, they deserve to come to harm.
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    And where do I say otherwise? You don't seem to understand my position. If God exists, he does not allow injustices to occur. He's good and omnipotent, for goodness sake!Bartricks

    I don't believe justice is necessarily a permutation of omnibenevolence unless god makes justice an objective, moral necessity.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    I don't believe justice is necessarily a permutation of omnibenevolence unless god makes justice an objective, moral necessity.ToothyMaw

    Like I say, you're just ignoring all those representations of reason that tell us about moral desert. Ironically, if you genuinely do not believe in there being a difference between deserving a harm and not, then there's nothing especially bad about harms befalling innocent people is there!!

    If a child comes to some great harm, doesn't the badness of that reside in the fact the child is innocent?
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    We use our reason. Our faculty of reason is our source of insight into what is right and good. And from such intuitions we can infer something about God's character. So, God hates it when people are unkind. I infer that from the fact that we all seem bid - and bid in no uncertain terms - be kind. God is clearly pro kindness, then. And God seems to hate unkindness so much that he wants those who are unkind to come to harm. I infer that from the fact my reason tells me that if someone is unkind, they deserve to come to harm.Bartricks

    You are assuming that god created us in his image, a decidedly Theistic thing to believe. How can we know that? What about evolutionary biology? Does that not do a better job of explaining human nature than a sermon (no matter how good of a sermon it is)?
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    If a child comes to some great harm, doesn't the badness of that reside in the fact the child is innocent?Bartricks

    I would think that it is worse for a harm to befall a child because they are developing and trauma could cause them to become maladjusted. Or so I think, at least - I'm no psychologist.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    You are assuming that god created us in his image, a decidedly Theistic thing to believe.ToothyMaw

    I don't know what you're talking about. You're assuming I'm an off the peg religious person, yes? Don't. I'm not. Just address my arguments and resist the temptation to attribute to me views I do not hold. (I do not believe God created us - I think it's wrong to create people and so I don't think God did so; and he tells us as much in a variety of ways; we have free will, but wouldn't if He'd created us, and so on....but let's not get distracted by these issues).
  • ToothyMaw
    743


    You quite literally said that we can infer god's characteristics from our own. How is that not believing that we are created in god's image?
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    I would think that it is worse for a harm to befall a child because they are developing and trauma could cause them to become maladjusted. Or so I think, at least - I'm no psychologist.ToothyMaw

    So you don't think their innocence is the issue? What is especially terrible about harms befalling the innocent is that they are innocent. Now, perhaps you do not have that intuition - okay, some people are colour blind and some people have blindspots in their faculties of reason. But it is widely shared - about as widely shared as the visual impression that the sky is blue.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    You quite literally said that we can infer god's characteristics from our own. How is that not believing that we are created in god's image?ToothyMaw

    Because, er, that's not what I said. I "quite literally" didn't. Sheesh. I said we can infer something about God's character from the content of our moral intuitions.

    If I am told to be kind, generous, and so on, I can infer - fairly safely, though not infallibly - that the person issuing such instructions really likes kindness and generosity. And from that I can infer - again, not entirely reliably - that this person is therefore probably kind and generous themselves.

    That is not remotely the same as saying "we are created in God's image", is it? That you could confuse the two shows that you are making assumptions about me - you're assuming you're talking to a regular religio. You ain't.
  • ToothyMaw
    743
    If I am told to be kind, generous, and so on, I can infer - fairly safely, though not infallibly - that the person issuing such instructions really likes kindness and generosity.Bartricks

    Who is telling us and how?

    And from that I can infer - again, not entirely reliably - that this person is therefore probably kind and generous themselves.Bartricks

    I mean, psychopaths can come off as charming and relatable - even compassionate - if they are more competent at deception than the average person. Someone who is making that much effort to come off as benevolent might not actually be so benevolent.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    Who is telling us and how?ToothyMaw

    God, via our faculty of reason.

    But note, all philosophers will appeal to the representations of our faculties of reason as the source of insight into what is right and good and just. Most will deny that the faculty is the means by which God is communicating with us. But that's beside the point - for my case to go through, it is sufficient that we have excellent reason to think that a good, omnipotent person does not suffer innocents to live in ignorance in a dangerous world.

    So, my case does not presuppose the truth of a divine command metaethics and an associated epistemological theory. It just assumes that being good involves not wanting innocents to live in ignorance in a dangerous world and that when accompanied by the power to prevent that from happening, a good person exercises that power and prevents it.
  • ToothyMaw
    743


    I still think that your view is the counterintuitive one. What about the preacher who develops Huntington's and the child-murderer that walks free and healthy? What about the injured veterans who fought in wars ostensibly out of a selfless desire to protect their country that get little more than a percentage? How are these people getting their just deserts?
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    I still think that your view is the counterintuitive one. What about the preacher who develops Huntington's and the child-murderer that walks free and healthy?ToothyMaw

    You're not following this. This is just silly now.

    God doesn't allow injustices. So, if God exists, there are no injustices. Wrongs, yes. But no injustices.

    Do you follow that?

    I then explained how one can deserve to be exposed to a 'risk' of harm.

    Did you follow that bit?

    If I buy a lottery ticket, I don't deserve to win, do I?

    But if I win, is that unjust?

    No.

    Clearly i need to join the dots here, though I thought the example was obvious.

    If you do wrong, you deserve to be exposed to a risk of harm.

    That's analogous to buying the lottery ticket - you don't deserve to win, you deserve the chance of winning.

    If you get lucky and win, you did not 'deserve' to win, though there is no injustice in you receiving all the money.

    Again then, if you get unlucky and get some ghastly disease or are treated atrociously by some other wrongdoer here, then you did not 'deserve' that, though no injustice occurred through you getting it.

    So, again, we deserve - I suspect - to be exposed to the risk of harm our ignorance exposes us to.

    That includes the risk of getting horrible diseases and so on.

    Some of us will get horrible diseases, others won't.

    Some people who buy lottery tickets lose, some win.

    There's no injustice, though, as we all deserved to face the risk. Or did if God exists. Or, alternatively (but I think less reasonably) we all deserve every particular thing that happens to us.

    The important point is that if God exists, that's the only reasonable conclusion to draw. And thus evidence that God exists 'is' evidence that we deserve either to face the risks we face, or the specific things that happen to us.
  • ToothyMaw
    743


    So not only is god omnibenevolent, he doesn't allow injustices. So you actually think these people deserved what they got. Good on you, Batricks, you fucking psycho. I'll be sure to tell someone who got their legs blown off by an IED that god just exposed them to equal risk of harm as the child-murderer and that he computed the outcome with a god-computer but still allowed him to get his legs blown off and the child-murderer to walk free.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    So not only is god omnibenevolent, he doesn't allow injustices.ToothyMaw

    That's not additional - it's part of what being omnibenevolent involves.

    So you actually think these people deserved what they got. Good on you, Batricks, you fucking psycho.ToothyMaw

    No, as I explained above. Learn to follow an argument. And it is you, incidentally, who thinks innocence doesn't matter, which makes you the psycho, or at least morally flat footed to say the least!

    The rest was just bog standard virtue signaling. Seems you're quick to temper - is that a virtue?
  • ToothyMaw
    743


    Honestly, it seems to me you have no understanding of what compels people to believe what they believe, or any connection to humanity at all. It's a little sad, whoever you are right now, Bartricks.
  • Book273
    768
    I find the level of assumption on this thread to be head shaking. Assumption of innocence, assumption of evil, assumption of God, and the ever-laughable assumption that God gives a damn about people. My aren't we self important? All of it could be a proving ground for mice as far as we are able to determine, and we are merely another obstacle for them to overcome in order to get into mouse heaven.

    However, please continue to provide motivations for God's actions, or in actions, as it is entirely entertaining.

    I present my theory, based on a variety of theological and philosophical readings (no, don't ask for references, I am at work and don't have that memorized):

    During our time on earth we are to accomplish a predetermined goal, or learning plan. This plan has been decided upon, by us, the individual energy spark, prior to becoming a corporeal form in which to learn/accomplish this goal (whatever it might be). Good and evil have no part in this, and your fellow man, or beast, becomes nothing more than a player in our individualized goals of learning. In this current incarnation we are unable to access the background information detailing what, and why, the learning goal is of value, because that would negate the actual learning experience. No God, except the individual. No Good, No evil. Only learning and forward evolution from a spiritual view point.

    Enjoy.
  • Bartricks
    4.8k
    And you seem incapable of following an argument or controlling your temper
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