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Breaking down an atheist perspective

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posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 06:08 PM
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I recently saw this pic and had some responses to his statement. I would like to present it to believers and atheists alike to see what you thought. The title sucks, I know, but I'm pretty hungry and need to eat. Yes, I came up and wrote this here after writing everything else. I don't know why I felt like saying that. Onwards.

Pic

For those opposed to pictures...


“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?” - Epicurus


I have two problems with this statement. First, God is not willing to prevent evil, so the original statement is flawed. God is capable of preventing evil, but chooses not to. Second, evil is not some abstract force flowing all around us. How do we define evil? I say it is the choices we make and our behavior, and how they impact the people around us. It's not worded very well but it sort of gets the point across. We have free will to make whatever choices we want, independent of His will.

If we choose to be "evil", then that is our choice, so for Him to prevent it would be a violation of our free will. God is not willing to prevent evil, though He is capable of it. He can make choices just like you and I, and his intention is not malevolence. For the moment confidence seems a more appropriate word, we may choose to be evil but He's rooting for us to do good. Whatever good means, I'd have to go with the "be true to yourself" thing. To have a pleasant conscious experience, free of stress, open to happiness. I know being "good" has been much more rewarding than any "evil" I ever did. Ah, maybe faith, hope, and love better describe his intention. Faith, because He's willing to allow our free choices without his interruption. Hope, because He wishes well for us, why would he want us to have a bad experience? Love, because He cares.

I'll end by saying I don't really believe in a singular 'male' God. I'm more of a creator/everything in the universe/all consciousness combined/something less organized religion. So when I say "He wishes well for us", I pretty much mean the flow of existence and human interaction is better served for all in a "good" environment.

That's all I have for the moment, need to eat.




posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 03:59 AM
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Knowledge of God
By: Alvin Plantinga (University of Notre Dame) and Michael Tooley (University of Colorado)
www.amazon.co.uk...

"Knowledge of God is a work of major significance. There is no other debate-style book in the philosophy of religion that packs the intellectual punches thrown by heavy-weights Plantinga and Tooley..."

When it comes to the God Concept, no one has impressed me more as to the proof that, not only does God exist, but there is NO WAY anything or anyone could exist without God.

That may seem delusional to some of the Atheists here and to their Messiah Dick Dawkins However, that's only because they have no Knowledge of God and no basis for their own morality.

Alvin Plantinga is one of the few that even have the courage to debate such a deep thinker like tooley. His thoughts and inductive arguments for logical fallacy and Critical thinking are fathoms deep and rich with perspectives the likes of Dawkins Hitchens or Harris have not even considered, much less conquered outside the box of their dogmatic scientific method .

They are the mental midgets of a very finite, a limited type of stasis where the very scientific method of proof of existence, blocks the paths by which that proof can be examined. This is why they won't consider debating either of these gentlemen. Once you start reading the knowledge of God, whether you are Christian or Agnostic, Catholic or Pagan, you will come away knowing unequivocally that there IS God.

One of the best places to hone your skills as a debater on any subject is www.ForAndAgainst.com it is harder than ATS Not as vitriolic as Jref and a lot more challenging as you have to be worthy of the debate while humble in your opinions. You don't see that here where I have already been told by some here they have never been beat in any argument on these boards.

They wouldn't last over there but then again, no one would honor them by debating such arrogance.

They have a much more intense atmosphere for intelligent debate without the thin skinned wimps that we see here hitting the alert button for getting to close to home with the truth.

When something is BS. Moreover, you have proven it so, then you have earnt the right to tell your opponent, he is full of that BS if he is in fact using BS to support his theory. This is why theory of evolution has literally been stolen by Atheists and held in a monopolized state of no competition or comparison where any peer review is unchallenged now days and for that reason has lost its self correcting properties.

Unlike ATS, even the Atheists admit they have a lot to learn when I have debated them there and most theists use the arguments of debate that tooley has established. They remain to this day unchallenged by any other new theory or thought criteria held up by peer review or found any logical fallacy that can be exploited.

Like I said, its already been covered in this great thinkers work and can be learned and enjoyed in a great debate styled book.

You get a very good grasp of the debate with these two heavy hitters, and they are truly a delight on either side of the argument. After reading this book and letting it sink in you can't possibly look at the world in the same way and not ask yourself "what was I thinking". I have already known two proud owners of the God delusion by Richard Dawkins, who have already made better use of that book as the lining for the bottom of a bird cage and a fire starter for kindling for the others fire place.

Both were Neo Atheists, now, they are both agnostic again but as one told me "have no thought of ever going back to stupid again." I know you have some of your own ideas about God and how he operates so I believe this search for spiritual truth is a good place to start that we first get to understand what a God is or at least conceptually.

As we learn more, from this extraordinary perspective reading by tooley, you will feel pity for those stuck in the idea there is no God, or that it is unlikely there is one.

His writing goes from the average 7th grade reading level, and as you read you notice your own I.Q. starts to get challenged as he educates, you learn more and his vocabulary gets higher. As you go, unable to put this fascinating book down, you end up where the writing is more Science and more Scientifically explained where your reading starts looking like this.

and you get to understand what that means.


"A rigorous yet accessible debate on central issues in the philosophy of religion by two leading contributors to the field. When Plantinga and Tooley turn to discuss each other's views, they shed light not only on these topics but on a whole range of further issues, including minds and materialism, propositional content, evolutionary explanation, and probabilistic reasoning. A first-rate exchange, full of philosophical insight." - Edward Wierenga, University of Rochester


You can bet that of all the greatest thinkers of our time in History from Plato to Socrates, the many questions we have about God and how he could do what we believe a God should or shouldn't, is answered in the most compelling arguments especially when it comes to how all of us are divinely positioned in life and in the world to tackle the problems of evil.

There is nothing, no question you can ask that hasn't;t been answered by the one author named Tooley.

His essay and renowned philosophical writings on the problem of evil have to this day been unchallenged as the de facto answer to those who have any doubts about the existence of God and the problems of evil.

Other best selling authors who may be more popular by virtue of their having the same view point as our own but when it comes to getting honest with ourselves,. Even the most militant neo atheist would have his Athesism severely challenged by this great thinker.

The epicurian argument you quoted,


“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?” - Epicurus


Epicurus is shatterd by todays answer to the great thinkers of the past and no one sets more truth to that claim then Tooley who destroys this often religion killing question about God.

The postulates he so eloquently illustrates, have stood the test of time un challenged these days as so many were un-able to find a flaw to refute his philosophy which is supported by,

unbiased, impartial logic,,


and divine truth.

Enjoy

- Con

















[edit on 18-4-2008 by Conspiriology]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:11 AM
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Originally posted by Conspiriology
When it comes to the God Concept, no one has impressed me more as to the proof that, not only does God exist, but there is NO WAY anything or anyone could exist without God.


IMHO I think you are hiding behind ignorance. You draw a line where your opinion looks like that human can't get any knowledge behind that. And solution: The God Did It. You can imagine infinite complex god, superintelligence behind imagination without creator for itself, but you can't imagine plain energy field, which from pops out new universes like popcorn.

Vacuum energy and virtual particles exist and theory of existence of universe is going painfully and slowly further step by step. Greatest minds of world are exploring universe and you can't forbid them to step over your line. Science is enemy of religion and I'm not suprised that in myth of Adam and Eve it was hunger of knowledge that made God kick them out of paradise. www.astro.ucla.edu...

Ps. Sorry to torture your language, not my original language.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by HoHoFoo]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 05:29 AM
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Originally posted by ConspiriologyThe postulates he so eloquently illustrates, have stood the test of time un challenged these days as so many were un-able to find a flaw to refute his philosophy which is supported by,
unbiased, impartial logic.


But logic don't help you if assumptions, the ideas where you start, are false. Plain philosophies won't take you anywhere. You have to have facts where to start and facts to back your research. You cant arugue about number of angels on top of pin. Oh you can, but is it relevant?

I try to find that book somewhere, sounds interesting.


[edit on 18-4-2008 by HoHoFoo]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 06:05 AM
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IF god and soul exists, there can be many possible explanations.

God don't care very much us as individuals. God is just kicking our ass whenever and by any means as hole race to go on. This can explain a lot. Primitive people needs primitive gods to understant what to do. Burning bushes and so on...
This is some kind of human race trainer and evolver god. Nowdays god perhaps want's to get rid of primitive religions when mankind can take more care from itself. More indirect means. Dawkings perhaps. Don't want to mess scientific view of life after this all trouble protecting Galileo, Newton, Darwin and all not to be burned to death.

Perhaps we got it all wrong as in one sf-novel. Perhaps we are just lower animals, when to spiritual level evolved beings called angels eat our souls when we die. No question between good and evil, more between pork or chicken.


Possibilities to speculations are limitless.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by HoHoFoo]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 06:37 AM
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And perhaps you haven't a clue as to what you are talking about

I know I sure can't make sense of it

perhaps try without all the ad hom

stupid is as stupid does

and writes

- Con



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by HoHoFoo
Science is enemy of religion and I'm not suprised that in myth of Adam and Eve it was hunger of knowledge that made God kick them out of paradise. www.astro.ucla.edu...

Ps. Sorry to torture your language, not my original language.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by HoHoFoo]


No it wasn't, it was the knowledge of evil

thats what got them kicked out

read your Bible



- Con



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 07:07 AM
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Is it only thing what was wrong in my ideas, quoting wrong old myth?



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 08:17 AM
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Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?


Evil is an action caused intentionally otherwise it’s accidental. Because we are talking about a god figure, god can’t make mistakes/accidents. (Otherwise it’s not all powerful) Plenty of bad/evil things happen everyday and yet god does not stop them. If god is willing to prevent the evil but is unable it is not all powerful which means it must be able to stop evil but simply chooses not to, so god is malevolent. If god is able to prevent evil but chooses not to then what is the devil compared?

[edit on 18-4-2008 by andre18]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 08:33 AM
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The answer is simple when your on the path. God is in all of us, we are god. When we start to live like gods will all the suffering and evil of the world be defeated. We need to live in harmony and love everything and eliminate hate from ourselves.

Religion was created by the elitists of the past who want to hold the power they had and pass that power down through there families. Religion is the creator of the divide between all donomitions, it creates evil and hate towards the ones who don't believe in your belief.

Heck i was asked to be a godfather and when i went to the ceremony i was asked to make sure the child was raised brain washed into that religion by his parents.

Follow what ever religion you want, just don't discuss it. Live life in harmony and eliminate hate and we will reep the benifets of being "Gods"

And the second coming of Christ is when you find your own self enlightenment. There you will find Christ and his father, yourself and then you will experience uder happiness and love.

I am not attacking religion and saying there wrong but it is wrong when hate is created through religion.

Peace and Love to All



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by Conspiriology
That may seem delusional to some of the Atheists here and to their Messiah Dick Dawkins However, that's only because they have no Knowledge of God and no basis for their own morality.


Religion and morality are not dependent on one another. A person's ability to choose right and wrong is a product of (among other things) their upbringing and environment. Morals are also a matter of perspective. A child raised by racist, religious parents is likely to carry on that racist mentality even though many people view racism as immoral. And with all of the different flavors of religion, especially Christianity (with it's crazy number of denominations and sects), which is the focus of this post, even comparisons between those flavors shows that views on morality are different. Baptists view drinking, dancing, and watching movies as sins, yet many other denominations host events where dancing and/or watching movies can take place.

If anything religion skews a person's ability to choose their morals. While the religion itself will dictate if those morals are good or bad, what if another sect of that religion disagrees? Who is right and who is wrong? If a person raised in a religious home decides that they would rather journey the path of agnosticism, does that automatically mean that their upbringing and morality is no longer acceptable because they lack religion?

If religion were a requirement for select of "good" morals, then certainly atheists would be incapable of doing good deeds that benefit others, right? Well then why would these atheists be doing good deeds? Arthur C. Clark helped the country of Sri Lanka by setting up an foundation in his name which is aiding in accelerating the Sri Lankan progress in areas like technology, communications, science, and energy. Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, has given away almost $16,500,000,000 to foundations around the world (www.gatesfoundation.org...). There are a lot of other atheists who have done work to benefit many, many people.

To get back to the original topic, I would add that the image that started the whole thing does not mention a very important thing. The God of Christianity is supposed to know of all things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Not only that, this God supposedly planned out every moment everywhere, from the beginning of time until the end of time. This clearly points to the fact that God consciously arranged for all of the bad things that our world has seen, consciously planned the sacrifice of his own "son"...the list could go on. How is this God seen as loving when he prearranged so much evil, corruption, death, and suffering?



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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Just a friendly reminder for everyone...

Refrain from discussing the person and remain on-topic. Consider this a last reminder as any further deviations from tact and common courtesy will be actionable.

Thank You and I now return you to the topic at hand, "Breaking down an athiest perspective."



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


I apologize MemoryShock, and thanks for the leniency up to this point. This is a topic that can easily stray into other tangents, all of which may touch nerves for people, myself included.
I will do my best to refrain from going off course in the future.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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The issue needs exploring far deeper than this though. The immorlity of something like racism or dancing is not self-evident: it is not immoral of its own accord. It is derived from deeper principles of morality. Without me trying too hard I can see that the two examples are in fact examples of prejudice and modesty (amongst other things). Whether an act is immodest or prejudiced is the cultural issue - though I know of no-one who *already accepting that something is immodest or prejudicial* would still insist that they are yet moral. And in fact these two examples are probebly my superficial thinking as well: I expect that they are better described as compounds of yet deeper principles of even more self evident moral compulsion.

It is certain that different cultures and points of view will interpret actions differently, and deem some to be expressions of a transgression of a moral code, and other not. And they will disagree. What is not in disagreement is the deep-level moral code itself.

It is more compelling to argue that morality is absolute in the sense that it is governed by absolute necessity in the evolution of human culture (culture is what has kept humans alive); and that it is genetic to that extent.


To get back to the original topic, I would add that the image that started the whole thing does not mention a very important thing. The God of Christianity is supposed to know of all things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Not only that, this God supposedly planned out every moment everywhere, from the beginning of time until the end of time. This clearly points to the fact that God consciously arranged for all of the bad things that our world has seen, consciously planned the sacrifice of his own "son"...the list could go on. How is this God seen as loving when he prearranged so much evil, corruption, death, and suffering?


That is all asusming that the very best thing for any created thing is to be alive, in this universe, eternally, unchanging, uncorrupting. On the other hand, if it is far better that these mechanisms are used in order to get created beings to be somewhere far, far better and more proper, then all of the "evil" you speak of is in fact vanished quite into perspective.

"Why did you let your child fall over and hurt his knee?"
"If I had had carried him for ever, he would never have been able to run to me."

Cheers.

[edit on 18-4-2008 by d60944]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 01:48 PM
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Are we defining "God" as the quasi-supernatural but obviously limited human-like entity described in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, only? Or are we also including god as defined as an essentially infinite, omnipotent, and essentially incomprehensible (to our human minds, at least) personality structure responsible for the creation and guidance of all matter and energy in this universe or any others that might exist?

My point, as always, is that it doesn't seem possible to acknowledge the existence (much less worship or love) something that is essentially undefinable and incomprehensible.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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We can intellectualize the existence or non-existence of God all we want, but it comes down to a spiritual experience or spiritual understanding. I have known many atheists who maintain their stance regarding the non-existence of a higher power, but I have also watched them change in a blink when something big happens in their life that they, and science, cannot explain.

I have also watched and heard those who express anger when "they" do not have an experience to support the belief in God - like he is a puppet or something, and then discount the experience of others. If we assume that he does not exist what would prompt him to show you otherwise? Does he even care? I don't think that he is codependent. This is where many go wrong, he has nothing to prove to us!

The same goes for many religious ones. Because they have not had a personal experience regarding overt attention from God - they replace it with traditions, doctrines and dogma that gives them the "feeling" of connectedness. Like Tina Turners song; "What's love got to do with it?" So I might add...what does God have to do with it?

I love this quote:

"A man said to the Universe:
"Sir, I exist.""
"However," replied the Universe,
"The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation."
-Stephen Crane from "War Is Kind" 1899



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 09:21 PM
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OK I got a little graphic too...





But really on the whole topic of "why does God allow evil" - people get confused about Gods will.

There is a profound theological difference between the sovereign will of God and the perfect will of God. The sovereign will is the expression of God’s will that focuses on the fact that God sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass. In other words, there is nothing that happens that is outside of God’s sovereign will. This understanding of His sovereign will does not imply that God causes everything to happen. However, it does acknowledge that He must at least permit or allow whatever happens to happen. God can always decide to either permit or stop the actions and events of this world. Therefore, as He allows things to happen, He has “willed” them in this sense of the word.

God’s permissive or perfect will is about God’s attitude and defines what he likes and wants for us. For example, God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, he doesn’t wish anyone to go to Hell but for all to come to repentance, yet it is also clear that He most surely wills their death and some go to Hell. This expression of God’s will is revealed in the many verses which indicate what God does and does not take pleasure in. For example, in 1 Timothy 2:4 we see that God desires “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” and yet we also know that God’s sovereign will is that “no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;” (John 6:44).


There is also a third element Gods revealed or perceptive will. That is what he reveals in the Bible often as what we should or should not do.

God could have created an army of robots but he wanted us to have free will to choose him over the world.




[edit on 4/18/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by John_Q_Llama



If a person raised in a religious home decides that they would rather journey the path of agnosticism, does that automatically mean that their upbringing and morality is no longer acceptable because they lack religion?


No,, apparently what is not acceptable was the parents who raised him with a religious morality.



Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, has given away almost $16,500,000,000 to foundations around the world (www.gatesfoundation.org...). There are a lot of other atheists who have done work to benefit many, many people.

If religion were a requirement for select of "good" morals, then certainly atheists would be incapable of doing good deeds that benefit others, right? Well then why would these atheists be doing good deeds?


One of the things I have always found rather curious is when ever someone uses Stalin or Mao as an example of Atheistic Governments who commited genocides, it has come as a result of those same Atheists making claims that Religion is so evil with wars done in the name of religion . Atheist reject this comparison as those people were not killed in the name of Atheism and I must agree to it then in as much as saying Bill gates didn't give a dime in the name of Atheism.

So I wouldn't be

Tagging the word Atheist on the coat tails of a famous rich man does not a reputation for the generosity of Atheists make.

It doesn't impress me that a rich man would find it in his bank account enough money to give but when those that haven't much give what the best they have got, now that is the difference between you and I.




To get back to the original topic, I would add that the image that started the whole thing does not mention a very important thing. The God of Christianity is supposed to know of all things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Not only that, this God supposedly planned out every moment everywhere, from the beginning of time until the end of time. This clearly points to the fact that God consciously arranged for all of the bad things that our world has seen, consciously planned the sacrifice of his own "son"...the list could go on. How is this God seen as loving when he prearranged so much evil, corruption, death, and suffering?



All very good questions and all I would again suggest you read can be answered in the link I gave in my first post .

- Con



posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by John_Q_Llama
 

[quote]To get back to the original topic, I would add that the image that started the whole thing does not mention a very important thing. The God of Christianity is supposed to know of all things that have happened, are happening, and will happen. Not only that, this God supposedly planned out every moment everywhere, from the beginning of time until the end of time. This clearly points to the fact that God consciously arranged for all of the bad things that our world has seen, consciously planned the sacrifice of his own "son"...the list could go on. How is this God seen as loving when he prearranged so much evil, corruption, death, and suffering?

If it were that simple I would see your point. First of all, there is no evidence that Jah foresees the future. Perhaps he chooses not to? Supposing there is a much bigger picture going on behind the scenes than what you can see?

We think much more of ourselves than perhaps is necessary. As has already been stated - man has been created with free will. Why? What would be the purpose? Do we misunderstand Gods love? Is he as loving as most would like to think? Who else could be a big player in the game?

Reality is a bitch!

Look beyond ourselves. If you wanted to set up a society of humans that would not be robotic, a society that defines its fittest, would you not give man an opportunity to prove himself? Supposing heavenly congress wanted a planet that would be inhabited by humans that have been "refined" enough to; set a pattern or template for future inhabitants of other planetary systems? Could there be a much bigger plan?

There are true victims in life but the majority are volunteers. If we are an experiment, with a God or Gods that use minimal influence on mankind, letting us make our own path, how much can we actually blame on Him?

What if he does give man information through many sources to alter ones life, and then the person chooses not to listen. Who's the real victim here?

We are great at crying wolf but we hate the consequences.



posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 02:57 PM
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All perspectives can be broken down. There are reasons for and against everything. One takes what they are given and decides what to do with it.

If someone chooses to believe there is no God, that is their right. Just as you Christians choose to believe in more than one god. True faith cannot be shaken. Blind faith, unfortunately, is rampant...

[edit on 19-4-2008 by Excitable_Boy]




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