Why Do Animals Suffer?

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80 comments:

Brian_E said...

Well I've seen monkeys masturbate, which we know is a sin, so they deserve to be punished for their indiscretions. I can't imagine 'god' is too pleased with the poo-flinging either.

I've also heard that dolphins can be homosexual, so no doubt they deserve some suffering!

Robin said...

Well I don't know why they suffer but I know God does nothing wrong by allowing them to suffer. Since animals don't deserve to be created they live by grace just like everything else. Since grace is something you don't deserve God is never obligated to show it to the animals.

Greg Mills said...

Robin -- It's jawdropping to me that you carry that much existential weight on your shoulders. "Deserving" to created... just, wow.

John W. Loftus said...

Robin, I find this view of yours to be very troubling. God creates a world and then declares none of us deserve anything so we should be thankful for any morsel of kindness he gives us. Keep in mind that both pets and children have burned to death in house fires. Are you really saying that we all deserve to be burned alive and that we should just be thankful not to have been burned alive?

This does not make any rational sense at all!

Is your God perfectly good or not? What does it mean to say your God is perfectly good? Are we to worship him? Why?

Have you seriously thought about the kind of barbaric God you worship who punishes his creation like this when we compare his punishments to our more humane ways of treating criminals, or do you think we should return to the days when we burned people alive? Could you even bear to hear the screams of someone, perhaps your own child, who is slowly roasting to death by fire?

Even a mother's fallible love for a child or pet would never punish them by burning them alive. And you're saying we all deserve this, animals included?

Your God is despicable to me.

TigerHunter said...

Just to emphasize the last sentence in John's post: http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html

Robin said...

Well what I'm saying is grace is free because God would not be the infinite, self-sufficient God He is if he were constrained by anything outside himself.


God is never obligated to show grace to His creation. If He was it wouldn't be grace. Nothing and nobody deserves His grace so He does nothing wrong in withholding His grace and allowing evil and suffering. Since He's the Creator He has many rights and prerogatives that we do not.

Animals, along with Adam and Eve, experienced God's goodness not as a response to their demerit but still without deserving it. You cannot deserve as a non-being, to be created and put on this earth to have all your needs met. So, before Adam and eve sinned the animals as well as Adam and Eve lived on grace. Grace is something that not even the animals deserve. Grace by definition is getting something good that we don't deserve and therefore, God is never obligated to treat animals or humans with any kind of grace, whether it's common grace or saving grace. If He was it wouldn't be grace.


Exodus 33:19

I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.

John W. Loftus said...

Robin, I see you're a Calvinist, and as such your God is despicable to me.

Let's replace the word "grace" here with "love" as defined as agape love. Your God personifies agape love, right?

So this is what you just said:

God is never obligated to treat animals or humans with any kind of LOVE...

Okay then.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

About the discussion of "deserving" or "not deserving" or about being "punished" - God tells the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Creation is an expression - a matter separate from "deserving" - now the God I know is not intimidated by the truth as we are sometimes nor does He stigmatize it. He acknowledges it and He isn't a hypocrite about it either. He says that He allows both weeds and wheat to mature together - I suppose that is because we are called to be heartfelt, whether of weed or wheat. He also says to love one's enemy because He already has done so Himself. So if I see punishment and condemnation in this world, it is because I myself have cooperated in stunting the expression of God's love here.

Also, about this vascillating between humane treatment of criminals and the outrage when a criminal act is incurred. I used to do the same thing when I wasn't able to safely acknowledge and embrace the need for salvation from my own inner demons and condemnation - I would on one hand, extol the goodness of mankind upon receiving or hearing of some good act and then, upon hearing of some tragic story, condemn the whole human race as evil. There is a third choice between the goodness of mankind and the evil of mankind - there is faith which says we need divine salvation. All of us.

Of course you don't have to believe this - you can reject it.

Take care!

P.S. BTW, I think the Calvinist expression of god is an idol - an elitist, prideful deity. Not of Jesus.

Robin said...

John,

I think maybe everybody will eventually be saved. Every knee will bow. In this life or the next.
I'm not absolutely certain though.

It follows logically that if Christ died for all then all will eventually be saved.

John W. Loftus said...

Glad you're not a Calvinist, MMM, now go tell Calvinists what you just said!

And it's interesting that Robin might be a universalist.

If we are all saved in the end that doesn't solve anything for you, for compensating a victim for her tortures cannot ever be used to justify those tortures, lest you torture some unwilling victim and then reward said person with a Cruise in the Bahamas. You see, that's what we're talking about. What morally justifies God's actions? I see no good reason coming from you or MMM on this.

Cheers

Robin said...

John, I already explained how God does nothing wrong by allowing such things.

God being good obviously has a morally justifying reason for allowing it. I just don't know what it is. To know that I would have to be God and I'm not.

sylvia said...

John,

I wonder, do you think it's awful that a "perfectly good God" has established a system where cats enjoy chasing around mice? Do you find it despicable every time a water buffalo 'suffers' as it's being eaten by an alligator or when another baby penguin gets gobbled up by a killer whale? What about when an abused pit bull turns on it's owner but is severely injured in the ensuing fight - do you have a problem with that as well?

Or perhaps it's just the overly dramatic 'animals burning alive' bit you're lauding here...?

"For most of history Christians largely ignored animal suffering. Christian thinkers believed that human beings were greatly superior to animals. They taught that human beings could treat animals as badly as they wanted to because people had few (if any) moral obligations towards animals." (BBC)

No references cited to support this. Typical.

Tor Hershman said...

@ YouTube
"The Origin of Jesus Christ"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzY2bVsZK5s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sckuqPulRGk

Oh, Brian E., To masturbate ain't a sin, google
THE QUEST FOR THE HOLEY TAIL
for more information.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

Daniel said...

As a Christian, I think that animals suffer because they are part of the fall. Since Adam had dominion over creation (animals being part of creation), when he fell it took all of the created order with him. I think that's why there is a distortion in the environment (i.e. natural disasters, for example), animals (and humans) suffer, and why at the end "all things will be made new." That's my simplistic and brief answer anyway. Granted, there are presuppositions there but the question (which also presupposed that suffering exists) was not about them.

I would like to receive feedback on my response (which I'm sure I'll get).

And as a Christian I see a lot of holes in Robin's argument, agreeing much with Loftus' critiques, but I'll let those slide for now.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Robin seems to share the view of St Augustine, who claimed that it's basically better to be born and suffer than to never exist at all. According to them, we are eternally indebted to our Creator for putting us into a miserable world without our own consent, and then punishing us for trying to make up our own minds about things.

Grace by definition is getting something good that we don't deserve and therefore, God is never obligated to treat animals or humans with any kind of grace, whether it's common grace or saving grace.

Then tell me, Robin, why is God obliged to show His grace by creating us in the first place? I obviously deserved the grace of being created, but if God doesn't have to show grace, and He also is just, then why would He choose to create me, knowing I would suffer in this world?

God went out of His way to create me when He didn't have to, and He knew I would suffer. I also did not consent to being created. Thus, how God is not at fault for my suffering is a mystery to me.

sylvia said...

Philip said: God went out of His way to create me when He didn't have to, and He knew I would suffer. I also did not consent to being created. Thus, how God is not at fault for my suffering is a mystery to me.

Talk to your parents. Ask them why they created you without your consent and then figure out some sort of legal action on account of your suffering.

John W. Loftus said...

Sylvia, we're talking about God here, not parents! Do you describe your God as the all-sufficient one needing nothing, no praise, no other creatures, or not? With a completely perfect existence why would he ever create anything, especially knowing the kind of mess this world is in? Love doesn't cut it. Must God express love? Then he needs to create.

sylvia said...

Gosh, really!? Let's see here, Philip is blaming God for creating him without his consent, conveniently glazing over the fact it was his parents who got together and created him in the first place. I mean, this is a commonly accepted fact of life for both Christians and atheists, right? Please correct me if I'm wrong but in layman's terms, sperm from the human male meets egg from the human female and voila, we have conception. I'm not sure how you understand this, but it seems to me that without the male and female, babies don't get made. So what's the mystery? Philip should be asking his parents why they brought him into the world without his consent. What a fascinating conversation that would be.

Lvka said...

Why did Christ suffer?

Harry McCall said...

Robin stated: I think maybe everybody will eventually be saved. Every knee will bow. In this life or the next.
I'm not absolutely certain though.

It follows logically that if Christ died for all then all will eventually be saved.


Robin, its nice to see that you agree with the Greek philosophy of the theology of Apocatastasisas proposed in the Fathers: Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Gregory of Nyssa.

Lvka said...

Every knee will bow.

True; but not every knee would like it.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but in layman's terms, sperm from the human male meets egg from the human female and voila, we have conception. I'm not sure how you understand this, but it seems to me that without the male and female, babies don't get made.

True to the bone, but why are You telling us all these things? Is Your sub-conscious sub-consciously trying to communicate something to us here? :-\ Like something about The Big Bang, for instance? :-\

Jeff said...

If it helps, here's my two cents. I think Loftus has a great point, but I haven't seen him explain it clearly yet (at least clear as I perceive it. Maybe I'm just an idiot :).

Robin states that God is not obligated to give us anything. We don't deserve even to exist. That's all fine and good - if he's God, he can do anything he wants. But this God is at least constrained by one thing: his character. If God is all-loving, then we would expect him to always act in a loving way. Always. No matter what, when given a choice, he should always choose the most loving of the options.

Perhaps God is not doing anything "wrong" by allowing animals to suffer. However, by letting this happen, he is acting inconsistently with his character. God may have the right to smite us all, but if he does, we have the right not to call him loving.

Player Piano said...

Robin,

You suggest that animals don't deserve to be created. That is irrelevant: as long as they were created by a god who is claimed to be all-loving, and their condition is clearly incompatible with the most loving option which could have been chosen by an all-powerful, all-knowing god, then animal suffering is in direct contradiction with the concept of an all-loving god. Whether they deserved to be created does not matter: as Jeff said, the important limitation is your god's character.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM),

You claimed that your god allow both "weeds and wheat" to "mature together". However, you did not address what animals did to deserve status as "weeds or wheat". What did a cockroach do to deserve suffering? What "evils" were committed by pandas? What mortal sin was done by an oak tree? Do you see what I'm trying to ask you?

Why do animals who can't possibly have "sinned" have to lead an existence of profound suffering?

Sylvia,

Do you have any serious arguments, or are you just being silly?

Of course it's inhumane that a supposedly all-loving god allowed for abused pit bulls, when pit bulls couldn't have done anything to rationally deserve such treatment. And if you had read what John was saying, you would've figured out that this is his entire argument.

Also, your parents=deity analogy is ineffective, because your parents do not have control over your nature. My parents couldn't choose my genetics. According to the Bible, your god created me. Therefore, (if he exists) he is responsible for my characteristics in a way that my parents can never be.

Daniel,

So you think it's reasonable that animals suffer because they were under Adam's dominion?

Does American law punish a man's children if he committs a crime? By your standards, it would entirely reasonable because they are under his dominion. Do you see the flaw in your reasoning?

Also, you believe that "flaws" in our environment are a result of the "fall", wherein without certain "flaws" in our environment, humans would not have turned out the way we did today, and neither would certain animals. We all adapt to our environments.

sylvia said...

Of course God isn't an all-loving. I know of few, if any, Christians who say He is. God hates abominations (Deut 12:31), idols (Deut 16:22) and wickedness (Psa 11:5, 45:7). Plain and simple. There's nothing to hide here. God isn't omnibenevolent. However, atheists love shoving their almighty "all loving God" argument in everyone's faces when in reality, it's a blatant misrepresentation of the truth.

God doesn't owe His creation anything. This is the very argument put forward so well in Romans 9.

Player Piano said...

Sylvia,

So your god is not all-loving?

1 John 4:8 says that "Whoever does not know love does not know God, because God is love."

1 John 4:16b says that "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

Is your god love? Or not?

If your interpretation of Romans 9:22-24 is correct, then I would not want to worship this god anyway. Yes, "my universe, my rules". It'd be sadistic. This god would be the equivalent of a playground bully.

Does your god purposely prepare certain people for destruction for the benefit of his own glory? Then I have no problem saying that such a god would be a twisted, megalomaniacal narcissist. Obsessed with his own glory? Even I don't take credit for all the things I do, and I'm by no means a perfect being.

Basically this chapter is saying "you know, since I'm in charge, I can do whatever I darn well please". You really expect me to believe that the creator of the entire universe would be this petty and self-serving?

I am glad that most people don't believe in your version.

Daniel said...

Player Piano,

Good thoughts but you're misunderstanding the Biblical idea of "dominion." In your example of America's law for parents and children, the relationship between parents and children is different than that of Adam and the created order. For Adam and the created order it is not as though it (and subsequently "we") are his children in the same sense as parents and children, but rather having dominion over the created order means that he (and subsequently "us") are to look after it, care for it, and nurture it. But in no way is the created order "responsible" for Adam's rebellion. That goes outside what the text is saying.

This is why pre-fall working the land in the garden was not laborious, but post-fall God declares that "through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field." Gen. 3:17-18.

So to answer your question Piano, no, I don't see the flaw in my argument. Thank you bringing that up for me to expound on though!

And I don't see your point in talking about adaptation, flaws, and the fall as it relates to this discussion. Perhaps you could expand on that.

Daniel said...

Sylvia,

1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16.... for example.

By saying "God is love" we are not saying all things that is love is God, as would say the pantheists. But rather we are saying that all that is God is love.

To say that God is not omnibenevolent (all-good) is outside of orthodox Christianity.

SE said...

Of course God isn't an all-loving. God doesn't owe His creation anything.

Then how do you distinguish your god from an evil demon god? I've said for years now that Christians are really worshipping Satan.

Thanks Sylvia, glad to know I was right!

As usual, Mark Twain gets it right:

"...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!"

Player Piano said...

Daniel,

Thanks for trying to answer my questions. I am glad that we can have a civil discussion about this.

However, I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying.

You said that Adam having dominion over creation means that he was to "look out for, care, and nurture" it. Isn't this what a parent does for a child?
Why should those in Adam's care have to suffer for his actions? I was saying that those in a criminal's care do not have to suffer for the criminal's actions, if they were not complicit in the act. And I do not see how the rest of creation could have been complicit in this act.

You've suggested that "animals suffer because they are part of the fall. Since Adam had dominion over creation (animals being part of creation), when he fell it took all of the created order with him."

What I was trying to ask, is why would should animals have to suffer because of Adam's actions? The fact that he had dominion over them is irrelevant to their fate, as the fact that a parent has dominion over a child is irrelevant to a child's fate if a parent violates the law.

I realize that I may have misunderstood the use of the word "dominion", but I am still having trouble with your explanation.

By the way, perhaps I should have explained further what I meant about adaptation and such.

There is are multiple species of finches (birds) in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America. Each species of finch has a slightly different beak and other features which enable it to better adapt to its environment.

You were implying that animals only had to suffer after Adam's transgression. However, populations of these finches adapted to their environments through the mechanism of natural selection, which meant that many of them had to suffer and die as a consequence. I am suggesting that it is likely that animals had to suffer long before humans came on the scene. The finches are just one relatively well-known example.

Philip R Kreyche said...

God doesn't owe His creation anything.

Why should such a callous, detached Being be respected at all, aside from fear of Hell?

sylvia said...

Daniel.

I strongly, strongly disagree. If God is omnibenevolent, He wouldn't hate wickedness or false idols. Even the very concept of hell itself immediately rules an omnibenevolent God since God is obviously not loving the people He's choosing to punish for eternity.

sylvia said...

Philip - God doesn't owe His creation anything yet He's presented the opportunity for the the righteous to inherit eternal life. This is enough for me. You choose not to respect God for your own personal reasons. Good for you.

Steven Bently said...

Well fury animals and insects need to suffer because they commit adultery, none of them get officially married that I am aware of and have offspring out of wedlock.

Also fury animals and insects do not go to church or give tithes.

Although some animals sacrifice their skins for leather coverings for bibles and leather back chairs and pews.

Trees get cut down and used for lumber to build churches and for pulp to make paper to make more bibles.

So yes suffering is needed so as to make sure we get to have more churches built.

Over six million of god's favorite children (Jews) suffered and died in order to show everyone god's amazing and un-ending grace.

Player Piano said...

Daniel said:

"Sylvia,

1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16.... for example.

By saying "God is love" we are not saying all things that is love is God, as would say the pantheists. But rather we are saying that all that is God is love.

To say that God is not omnibenevolent (all-good) is outside of orthodox Christianity."

Sylvia said:

"Daniel.

I strongly, strongly disagree. If God is omnibenevolent, He wouldn't hate wickedness or false idols. Even the very concept of hell itself immediately rules an omnibenevolent God since God is obviously not loving the people He's choosing to punish for eternity."

To Daniel and Sylvia,

Sometimes I think about quitting atheism...and becoming a noncognitivist. The concept of a god isn't even meaningful enough not to believe in.

Seriously, these are among the best arguments I've ever seen on this blog for non-belief in Christianity.

Daniel shows us that the Christian god is CLEARLY omnibenevolent, and that this is the view of orthodox Christianity. However, Sylvia CLEARLY shows us that the Christian god cannot be omnibenevolent.

Both of you can be right -- as long as you're describing a fictional character. But if you're describing an entity which actually exists, your contradictions show us all exactly why such a god's existence is improbable.

Here's a rough outline of our exchange:

"Is God love?"
"Yes"
"He doesn't sound very loving..."
"Hmm..."
"Maybe he's not love?"
"Your book says he is"
"Hmm..."
"Maybe your book was simply written by fallible humans?"
"Hmm...that would explain things CLEARLY"

Lvka said...

Sylvia,

Christ told us to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is holy: not holier; nor holy, but in a different manner ... and this holiness includes forgiving those that sin against us, praying for those that hate us, blessing those that curse us, turning the other cheek, and so on. How do You then say that he is NOT all-good? :-\ Didn't Christ pray on the Cross to the Father to forgive his executioners and mockers for that they did not know what they did? Didn't St. Stephen pray the same for those that stoned him? Didn't all the martyrs of the first centuries do the same? Didn't those that were exterminated in communist prisons do the same?

Secondly, does God torment us; or does the evil within ourselves do that? Seriously.

sconnor said...

sylvia,

God doesn't owe His creation anything yet He's presented the opportunity for the the righteous to inherit eternal life. This is enough for me. You choose not to respect God for your own personal reasons. Good for you.

So, because god created us, he can do anything to us -- even the most heinous, sick and unimaginable, violation one can conceive of?

The only difference, between a genocidal maniac and god, is god, created us -- right?

I, also, have to wonder, using your loopy logic, god let my ten year old son suffer, egregiously, for months with leukemia, only to die from a massive heart attack, because he is god and he can do what he wants -- that's how you try and salvage his reputation? This is how you justify suffering?

So the supreme moral giver, can't be held to the morals he commands? This seems to render the Good Samaritan Parable obsolete and paints your god as a miserable, hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preaches.

When a child suffers, I, as a father, am obligated to ease his suffering, take care of him, love him, which should be second nature, to any father, who loves his son -- which in turn, if a father neglects his child and let's him wallow in pain and anguish -- suffering in unthinkable ways; this father would be held in contempt -- he would be exposed as an abusive, negligent monster.

But using your idiot logic, we can't hold a god -- your father, in the sky, who, every second, of every day, neglects his earthly children -- to the same standards; the only standard we possess to make that determination and a standard supposedly, created and instilled, into our souls, by god?

I'm amazed at the bizarre lengths and disturbed, mental gymnastics, some christians go through, to justify the morbid negligence of their god -- it's amazingly, ludicrous.

--S.

sconnor said...

sylvia,

Talk to your parents. Ask them why they created you without your consent and then figure out some sort of legal action on account of your suffering.

Ah, yes, more mental meandering.

So let me get this straight, your analogy is trying to show, that because fallible humans made an ignorant decision, without any future foreknowledge, who like most people at marrying age, have a romanticized vision of the world and lacking the intellectual, maturity to weigh, all, the possible consequences, it would entail, to bring a child, into this world, they (not god) should be the ones to blame?

You tell me why that argument fails miserably -- M'kay?

Additionally, in your argument, you placed the responsibility on the parents, because they "created" junior -- have you, also, just supplied an argument, for the pro-choice crowd?

If god didn't have anything to do with it and they "created" junior, then by your logic, they can choose to abort junior -- right?

--S.

sylvia said...

Lvka - God hates abominations (Deut 12:31), idols (Deut 16:22) and wickedness (Psa 11:5, 45:7). If God was omnibenevolent, God would love these things. But He doesn't. Thus, we can conclude He's not omnibenevolent. Your argument about people praying to God to forgive their enemies isn't applicable because it doesn't relate to God's omnibenevolence. God loves, of that there is no doubt. The question is does God love everything, which obviously He doesn't. Nonetheless, this conversation is moving further and further away from the question of "Why Do Animals Suffer" of which my questions to John have thus far been ignored.

Jason said...

Sconnor,

Asking God to step in and save your son from an oft fatal disease is asking Him to suspend the laws of our moral universe, one that's governed by cause and effect. I wonder if you would be so caviler about the suspension of these laws if the victim was a herd of cows or a serial rapist or a corrupt government official whose citizens were starving to death. What's so ironic about this is you don't even believe in the very God you claim is bound by duty to act in your life.

In regards to your other 'argument', people who decide to conceive a child are making a free-will decision, correct? Would you prefer that God removed their freewill and decided from this point on who was going to have a baby and who wasn't, irrespective of the wishes of the parents? By turning potential parents into ignorant idiots, this is precisely what you're requesting. Would you have preferred it if God didn't allow you to have a baby? Would this have made you happier? Or did you and your wife make a conscious decision to have a baby, knowing the potential pitfalls and dangers, and then enjoy every waking moment you had with him?

Your arguments are all old ones and every single one of them ignores the profound effects they would have on our freewill and this universe. This is what happens when arguments are based on emotion.

Nonetheless, I have to agree, in part, with Robin and sylvia's points. Firstly, God isn't obligated to do anything for anyone. Secondly, animals suffer because animals are also governed by the laws of nature. A lion will eat a gazelle because that's what they do. A gazelle will feel pain because pain receptors are vital to survival. Birds fly into windows, deers get caught in forest fires, dogs get hip dysplasia, and polar bears starve to death. These things happen every minute of every day - it's called "life", and if someone here doesn't like it because God let poor Scruffy the cat die in a house fire, please, for everyone's sake, get a grip.

Lvka said...

Sylvia,

God hates abominations, idolatry and wicked ness, and He does that because He is all-good. And yet He loves the sinner, for exactly the same reason.

(To love sin means to hate the sinner: just like a drug-addict saying that if You love him, You would lend him money so that he might basically buy his own death; but if You truly love him the way God also loves us, then You would know better than to listen to him).

Since Christ was God incarnate, the fact that He forgave whole-heartedly, in His darkest hour, those that have done Him wrong speaks volumes about God Himself, since Christ was, and is, His very own Image.

The fact that God does not desire the death of the sinner but rather for him to return from his self-destructing path and live is in both Testaments, and St Paul tells us that He loved us even before we loved Him.

And since no man can be a better image of God than a holy man, their same love for their enemies and murderers also speaks volumes.

The same is said and supported and affirmed by St. John, when he tells us that he who does not know love simply does not know God.

And the sanctity expected of us is according to Scripture the same as God's: not MORE, not less, not of *different* kind. (This is in both Testaments).

Lvka said...

Nonetheless, this conversation is moving further and further away from the question of "Why Do Animals Suffer" of which my questions to John have thus far been ignored.

My questions were also ignored: I asked, why did Christ suffer? And when a similar post was published, long time ago, asking why did animals eat eachother, I asked: why do we eat Christ?

And I don't think that this conversation is deviating from anything: I've heard the strangest things from both Protestants and atheists alike: for instance, I saw them capitalize the innitials of the pronouns refering to the devil in Matthew 10:28 and Luke 12:4-5.

Player Piano said...

sylvia,

Does the Biblical god love everything? No, according to the Bible.

Did the Biblical god create this universe and all the people and beings and animals which inhabit it? Yes, according to the Bible.

So, who's fault is it that "abominations" and "wickedness" exist? Who are you going to pin the blame on?

Was it humanity? Who created humanity as to be vulnerable? Your god, according to the Bible.

Was it Satan? Who created Satan to be sinful? Your god, according to the Bible.

Whatever path you take, the answer leads you back to the god of the Bible. You may say "these things he hates are only a perversion of his creation", but who created the capability for his creation to be perverted?

If your god could've created angels that have free will but would not sin, why couldn't he have created people who had free will but did not sin? According to your religion, some of the angels chose to oppose your god, but some did not. The fact they were able to oppose him shows that they had free will. The fact that some did not oppose him means that some of them had free will and did not sin. Therefore, why are humans more vulnerable than angels? Your god could've done a better job, but I'm not blaming him ultimately. Why? Because we weren't created. Every aspect of our bodies screams that we evolved. However, the Biblical account still doesn't make sense.

Why do animals suffer? I don't know. That's like asking, why is there suffering at all? These are difficult questions which may not necessarily have an answer.

Jason,

It seems you agree with Sylvia and Robin that your god isn't obligated to do anything for anyone. Maybe so, because I can't think of anything he's done lately.

Can you think of anything in nature that has been shown to be supernatural? All the explanations we have are natural ones. Why should I believe these supernatural claims? If your god isn't obligated to do anything for anyone, he's definitely doing a good job of staying the course. Why don't we see your god in action anymore? Amazing how all the claims of divine occurences dwindled with the appearance of modern technology, isn't it?

I cannot worship a god who is less moral than I am. If he doesn't care what happens, I don't care what happens. However, this is all really absurd because I don't believe there is such a god. It's like I'm angry that the emperor's clothes are ugly when he is naked. Ultimately it doesn't matter what any of us think about such a god's nature, but this does show how absurd things can get when we delve into this account, showing how likely it is that it was compiled by fallible humans.

Jason, do you believe in the "fall" account in Genesis?

We are created. We know neither good nor evil. Basically, we're like little children. Didn't Jesus say, let the little children come to me? I thought this god was good with kids.

However, we commit one small offense: doing what Mr. Deity told us not to do. Every toddler on the planet has done something like this at one point in their lives. It's a normal feature of human development to question the authority of your parents. A normal parent would admonish their children, and then use such an incident as a valuable lesson in life. However, your god uses this moment to punish Adam and Eve severely and to condemn the rest of humanity through them, forever.

This account is so ridiculous that I could only believe it is a metaphorical explanation for some of humanity's qualities.

Let's say your god has given us free will. Also, he knows everything. So he knows that we may possibly sin, screwing up the whole Garden of Eden situation.

What does a normal parent do in this situation? Knowing that little Eve might stick her finger in the electrical socket, a normal parent would child-proof the house.

But your god? He did nothing to "sin-proof" our environment. A good parent would not only say "do what I say" but "do what I say because I love you and I want what's best for you", but your god got angry and pissed off because Adam and Eve didn't listen to him. Why should they have? They didn't know the difference between good and evil: they didn't know what they were doing. "Forgive them, for they know not what they do?"

Is the man who said that the same god as the man who condemned Adam and Eve?

Is a parent obligated for anything to their children? The parents created the child, and they are responsible for its well-being.

How much more so is the one who supposedly designed the child and created all children responsible for their well-being?

Lvka,

You have said that Jesus's forgiveness is a hallmark of your god's character. Why can't your god have the same forgiveness for Adam and Eve? "Forgive them, for they know not what they do?"

What people in all history would know less than Adam and Eve, who didn't even know the difference between good and evil? If your god can forgive Pharisees who knew the law intimately, he could certainly forgive two adults who knew nothing of the laws.

Also, I'd like to try to answer your questions.

"Why did Christ suffer?"

I don't know. Shouldn't you know this? I don't think it's a very good plan, honestly.

Humanity is around for say, more than 100,000 years, and then you wait to send word of yourself until the last several thousand years? And then you wait another few thousand years to send word to everyone on Earth who isn't a member of one small tribe.

What is necessary for forgiveness of sins? The sacrifice of Jesus? Didn't Jesus go around saying "your sins are forgiven" before he died???

If Jesus was god, and he could forgive sins before he sacrificed himself, why couldn't your god forgive our sins before Jesus sacrificed himself? Why couldn't he have forgiven us some other, simpler way? If he could forgive sins all along before Jesus's sacrifice, why didn't he do it?

"Why do we eat Christ?"

I don't know that, either. That's another one you should probably know.

It seems symbolic. It's a ritual, yes. It doesn't seem different to me than any other rituals of any other religious belief system.

I hope everyone has had their questions answered.

sconnor said...

sylvia,

Nonetheless, this conversation is moving further and further away from the question of "Why Do Animals Suffer" of which my questions to John have thus far been ignored.


Excuses, excuses, excuses. Because of your inability to address my arguments, specifically, you must diverge and play the "original topic has changed" card.

Threads change; deal with it.

Then you repeat, repeat, repeat with (Deut 12:31), idols (Deut 16:22) and wickedness (Psa 11:5, 45:7) never furthering your argument. You might as well copy and paste your argument from, four or five post, above. Repeating it over and over again doesn't make it anymore authoritative or credible.

--S.

Player Piano said...

Everyone*,

Also, if we read and examine all of the comments in this thread, it is clear that we have thoroughly plunged into Mr. Loftus's question of animal suffering.

And yes, topics do change. Digression is the soul of wit.

Moreover, if you don't have an argument, it doesn't accomplish anything worthwhile to repeat what you've already said.

Those who do read through all of the comments on this thread are perfectly capable of determining whether or not your responses are adequate.

*I say "everyone" because some people only read comments that are addressed to them personally. It gets annoying when you address an argument in a previous comment and a later commenter in the same thread ignores what you've said. ;)

Lvka said...

Player Piano,

thanks for at least trying to tackle my questions, even if only out of sheer courtesy. :-) I appreciate it.

If You'll ever find the time and-or curiosity, I offer You this 40 pages worth of text written before AD 400 to read (i.e., it's long, and it's outdated). Try to look at it on the bright side: if it's boring, at least You'll get a good night sleep out of it. :-) If it's ridiculous You might actually get a good laugh out of it; and if it's neither, You might have something to dismantle, criticise, rip to pieces, and shred apart over at Your own blog, or probably even here on DC. :-)

Player Piano said...

Lvka,

Thank you! I will certainly examine those articles. The link is bookmarked.

Eventually I may get around to writing about them, probably on my own blog, because I don't want to completely hijack DC.

I do try to address questions that have been raised. Evasion is above my pay grade.

Daniel said...

Player Piano, great discussion questions; I'll do my best!

You asked, "Isn't this what a parent does for a child?"

One would hope! Absolutely, but your original comment on this analogy was talking about dominion as control. Adam does not have control over creation in the same manner as God does--- notice the creator/created distinction. But he does have dominion in the area of looking after it.

You asked, "Why should those in Adam's care have to suffer for his actions?"

Good question, I guess I would say that it is a natural recurrence of being a part of this "holistic fall" (i.e. not just humanity falls but all of the created order goes along with it). Let me try this for an example: we would both agree that the environment is suffering a great deal by acts of humanity-- carbon emissions etc. Now, we humans don't have "control" over the environment. We can't make continents move or replenish the poles in the arctic with ice. However if we were better "stewards" (to use a Christian word) of the environment then the effect of situations like the greenhouse effect would not be as substantial. So then, Adam did not have control over the created order in this fashion, but did impact it greatly with his action. Do you see the correlation?

You asked, "why would should animals have to suffer because of Adam's actions?"

Exactly. And that would bring us to a larger issue-- the problem of evil. But I think if we can both agree that a) suffering exists, b) suffering is wrong in all its forms (animals, humans, environment, etc.), and there c) needs to be a release from suffering. Then we are on a good track for dialogue. And by the way, since this post is becoming outdated with other posts feel free to come over to my blog and we can continue dialogue if you want.

P.S.-- your finch example is a good one. But alas my comment is getting too long already. Perhaps we can dialogue more on my blog or something. I'm enjoying discussing these things with you!

Daniel said...

Sylvia,

You've touched on a lot of different things there. If you would like to come over to my blog and discuss that more feel free. Those are outside the purpose of this particular post.

Lvka said...

Digression is the soul of wit.

Spoken like a true politician-slash-secret-agent. (I foresee a great future lying ahead of You). >;)

sconnor said...

Jason,

Weren't you banned for life? Was the ban lifted Jason? Or do you just flout and defy and weasel your way onto DC?

Asking God to step in and save your son from an oft fatal disease is asking Him to suspend the laws of our moral universe, one that's governed by cause and effect. I wonder if you would be so caviler about the suspension of these laws if the victim was a herd of cows or a serial rapist or a corrupt government official whose citizens were starving to death. What's so ironic about this is you don't even believe in the very God you claim is bound by duty to act in your life.

According to your Jewish book of fairy tales, a supposed, magic man skipped around the dessert with other magic-men and suspended the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases -- hmmmmmmmmm?

Asking God to step in and save your son from an oft fatal disease is asking Him to suspend the laws of our moral universe, one that's governed by cause and effect.

Mt.7:8 and Luke 11:9-10 -- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Matthew 7:9-11 -- Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

Matthew 18:19 -- Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them

John chapter 14:14 -- Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.



Care to address my arguments, specifically?

1. So, because god created us, he can do anything to us -- even the most heinous, sick and unimaginable, violation one can conceive of?

2. The only difference, between a genocidal maniac and god, is god, created us -- right?

3. I, also, have to wonder, using your loopy logic, god let my ten year old son suffer, egregiously, for months with leukemia, only to die from a massive heart attack, because he is god and he can do what he wants -- that's how you try and salvage his reputation? This is how you justify suffering?

4. So the supreme moral giver, can't be held to the morals he commands? This seems to render the Good Samaritan Parable obsolete and paints your god as a miserable, hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preaches.

5. When a child suffers, I, as a father, am obligated to ease his suffering, take care of him, love him, which should be second nature, to any father, who loves his son -- which in turn, if a father neglects his child and let's him wallow in pain and anguish -- suffering in unthinkable ways; this father would be held in contempt -- he would be exposed as an abusive, negligent monster.

6. But using your idiot logic, we can't hold a god -- your father, in the sky, who, every second, of every day, neglects his earthly children -- to the same standards; the only standard we possess to make that determination and a standard supposedly, created and instilled, into our souls, by god?

In regards to your other 'argument', people who decide to conceive a child are making a free-will decision, correct? Would you prefer that God removed their freewill and decided from this point on who was going to have a baby and who wasn't, irrespective of the wishes of the parents?

While, I get to make preferences, I would prefer that egregious, vile, unimaginable, unjust, suffering didn't exist, while people still could have free will. Certainly -- THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE -- could have created an infinite array of realities (heaven being only one example), where he could have accomplished everything he wanted to accomplish, without egregious, unthinkable, misery, suffering and pain, all the while maintaining free will?

Would you have preferred it if God didn't allow you to have a baby? Would this have made you happier?

No, I would prefer that horrendous, repulsive suffering wasn't part of your god's creation -- can you grasp that?

Or did you and your wife make a conscious decision to have a baby, knowing the potential pitfalls and dangers, and then enjoy every waking moment you had with him?

Like I said above, no one makes the decision to have a baby while weighing all (infinite) potential pitfalls and dangers. The human mind constructs a romanticized vision of the world, usually because (being young) we haven't experienced that much pain -- we were inexplicably, detached from the problem of suffering. We can't make an educated decision, when we are ignorant or when we ignore the suffering that is around us.

Additionally, if you comprehended the argument, it simply states you can not compare fallible humans to that of the supposed all-knowing creator of the universe -- comprende?

Your arguments are all old ones and every single one of them ignores the profound effects they would have on our freewill and this universe.

Please, please, address my arguments specifically.

These things happen every minute of every day - it's called "life", and if someone here doesn't like it because God let poor Scruffy the cat die in a house fire, please, for everyone's sake, get a grip.

No, I don't like it because my child suffered in unimaginable, pain. And my son only represents any child who had to suffer in egregious unimaginable pain. Some children are born into this world, with horrible deformities; they will never walk, talk, laugh, or cry. They just wallow in their own waste and become a devastating burden to the family, and to our health care system, yet somehow these non functional humans can live and suffer for years.

I don't even know where to start? How does one even begin to tabulate or codify the many vile and unimaginable ways, people suffer, throughout history, in this world?

What I do know, is, people do not want to think about it. As long as it is not happening to them; it doesn't exist.

But one thing is for sure, if a god created this miserable shite-hole, he is a negligent, incompetent, monster.

I'll go with the other explanation: there is no creator and we are all just biological entities, susceptible to hideous suffering.

Which leads me to this statement:
What's so ironic about this is you don't even believe in the very God you claim is bound by duty to act in your life

{Abrogation of confusion}

No, this is where you get it completely wrong. I don't claim that god is responsible for all that is wrong, in the world. I want to be crystal clear, on this matter and abrogate any confusion. Please get it through your head; my basic premise is there is no evidence for god or a personal god, let alone your concept of the one and only true, all-loving, triune, christadelphian, christian God. My position does not presuppose god is an evil being, who can be blamed for all that is bad in the world; my position is and always was, we can only argue definitions and concepts of god. What may confuse you is, I use quotes from scripture that contradicts your idea of god and you think I'm saying, see god's an evil monster, when what I'm really arguing is the bible -- where you get your concept of god from -- is not unequivocal, thereby establishing that you pick and choose the attributes you want to use in defining your god, while turning a blind eye to all the bad or rationalizing the absurdities and atrocities, to save the conceptualized, reputation of your god. I'm arguing "IF" there is an all-loving personal god, the supposed intelligent, creator of everything and the universe, then why would he create this poorly designed universe or why does he let these horrific natural disasters continue to happen or why does he allow vile, unimaginable suffering to continue? Get it?

--S.

Daniel said...

Steven,

Connoting animals with human sins is a false dichotomy. Moses didn't give the ten commandments to tigers he gave them to people. Unless there is a tiger Moses out there I don't know about I don't see how accusing animals of sinning fits into why they suffer.

John W. Loftus said...

sconner, once in a while I let one from Jason come through, but it must be marginally reasonable from a Christian perspective.

Jason said...

Sconnor said: According to your Jewish book of fairy tales, a supposed, magic man skipped around the dessert with other magic-men and suspended the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases -- hmmmmmmmmm?

Were these people atheists who didn't believe in the God that was healing them?

Thank you for the Scriptural references. I see the key in the verses you provided being to "ask". As an atheist, how do you "ask" something of a God you don't believe in?

Regarding child birth, you would prefer it if God removed freewill altogether and only granted people children if they were "good". Is that about it?

And you didn't answer my question - would you have preferred that God remove your decision-making ability to have children because He knew how it was was going to turn out with your son? Would you have accepted His reasoning why He refused to give you a child?

Player Piano said...

Jason,

You didn't respond to my post from earlier. Could you please go back and respond to my arguments? Thanks.

Lvka said...

Here's a short little light-hearted podcast remotely related to this issue.

sconnor said...

jason,

Were these people atheists who didn't believe in the God that was healing them?

Has no bearing on your original argument -- either god CAN suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases or he CAN'T.

So what is it Jason? First your argument was god couldn't suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases.

Now, is it he CAN suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases?

Your statement was rather absolute -- either he can or he can't -- right?

Now -- that you painted yourself into a corner -- the argument morphs into: god CAN suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases, only now, you have to be a true believer, not an atheist.

So which is it Jason, CAN god suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases, or can't he?

Do you ever get tired of digging yourself into a hole?

Thank you for the Scriptural references. I see the key in the verses you provided being to "ask". As an atheist, how do you "ask" something of a God you don't believe in?

You would do well to read your own arguments.
Asking God to step in and save your son from an oft fatal disease is asking Him to suspend the laws of our moral universe, one that's governed by cause and effect.

Your argument proposes THAT GOD CAN'T suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases. The argument has NOTHING to do with if the person asking was an atheist.

Again either he can or he can't -- which one is it, jason?

As an atheist, how do you "ask" something of a God you don't believe in?

I don't -- didn't you read {Abrogation of confusion}?

And again this has nothing to do with your original argument.

Which is it Jason; CAN god suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases?

Your argument is feebly, trying to salvage your god's reputation, with regards to suffering, by saying god CAN'T suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases. You're saying god let's people suffer because he CAN'T suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases -- that's your argument.

Yes or no Jason -- can he or can't he?

Regarding child birth, you would prefer it if God removed freewill altogether and only granted people children if they were "good". Is that about it?

What are you drunk? Please re-read my arguments. There is no argument, of mine, that states, I want free will removed or that parents should only be granted children if they were "good" -- what the hell are you talking about?

Take care to digest the information and thoroughly comprehend the arguments, before you reply.

I would prefer we have free will and I prefer not to have repulsive, unimaginable suffering -- you would think the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE -- could have created an infinite amount of realities that would encompass this preference.

would you have preferred that God remove your decision-making ability to have children because He knew how it was was going to turn out with your son? Would you have accepted His reasoning why He refused to give you a child?

This was my answer. let's analyze it; shall we:

While, I get to make preferences, I would prefer that egregious, vile, unimaginable, unjust, suffering didn't exist, while people still could have free will. Certainly -- THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE -- could have created an infinite array of realities (heaven being only one example), where he could have accomplished everything he wanted to accomplish, without egregious, unthinkable, misery, suffering and pain, all the while maintaining free will?

As you can plainly, see by my answer, I wouldn't want free will or the decision-making ability removed from the equation. If you cared to let my answer sink in, you would see I prefer free will and a reality, free from egregious, vile, unimaginable, unjust, suffering -- that's what I'd prefer. Now if god actually spoke to me (if he actually existed) how hard would it be for him to give me a reasonable reason why he refused to give me a child -- come on, you are being ridiculous.

Any one with half a brain can see -- from my original response -- I prefer free will, I wouldn't want god to take away decision making and I want a reality that is free from all the unjust, unimaginable suffering, in the world and if god so chose to reveal himself and make his action and reasons known to me personally, without relying on spurious, apologists, like your self, I'm sure we could come to an understanding.

I have answered all your specific, questions, thoroughly. I make it a point to go through line by line and address all your arguments. You still refuse to answer -- to the specifics -- of my questions, which I conveniently, numbered for you, above.

Your inability to address, the specifics, of my questions, speaks volumes.

I defy you to go line by line and refute my arguments, specifically.

I await your excuses and absurd rationalizations.

--S.

sconnor said...

John,

sconnor, once in a while I let one from Jason come through, but it must be marginally reasonable from a Christian perspective.

I feel for you. I appreciate all you do; including all the hard work and time you take to weed out people like jason.

Thanks

--S.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Jason,

Were these people atheists who didn't believe in the God that was healing them?

Thank you for the Scriptural references. I see the key in the verses you provided being to "ask". As an atheist, how do you "ask" something of a God you don't believe in?


So God only gives proof to those who are already convinced, and refuses proof to those who request it, and would believe because of it. This is the attitude of a God who desires all to be saved?

As for the obvious free-will reply you're going to give me, let me ask: if you are offered proof that you have a bill due, do you have any less free-will to pay it than you would if you were only told anonymously that you had a bill to pay?

Please tell me why one cannot have free will in situations in which all consequences are obvious and no leap of faith is required to understand the situation.

Gandolf said...

While busy bagging Sconner, what Jason is missing is it seems this supposed all loving god cannot even bother to be gracious to a 10 year old kid :( .

Only because he doesnt exist of course.Its only the ancient written lies of faith that makes humans feel let down by mythical gods.

Robin seems to misunderstand grace.She admits grace has to be free .In the dictionary it states "the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.".

So at best it can only suggest this supposed god picks and choose when he wishes to be graceful .Maybe he checks his rune stones or tarot cards everyday or something to help decide.What ever way he decides his decisions very often sure seem pretty erratic.

Yet elsewhere god is suggested to be all loving etc ?? hmmmmm ?

:)Why do humans have to make up so many myths and excuses for whats plain logic and quite obvious .

Jason said...

Sconnor,

Yes God can suspend natural laws, I never argued He couldn't. As an atheist, you're wondering why the God you don't believe didn't step in and save your son. This is the example you provided, right? I'm patiently explaining to you that, as the verses you provided show, one must first believe in the same God they're asking to intervene in their life. I trust you can see the problem here. On the other hand, if you were a faithful believer and tragedy struck your life (as it ultimately does with everyone), you would understand where pain and suffering comes from and why God allows people to experience it. Job is great example of this.

You make an interesting point here: Now if god actually spoke to me (if he actually existed) how hard would it be for him to give me a reasonable reason why he refused to give me a child -- come on, you are being ridiculous

Actually, the question is, how hard would it be for YOU to accept God's "reasonable" reason why He refused to give you a child? Would you believe Him? And if you did, would you think the suffering to occur 10 years down the road would be worth missing out on the 10 years of love and happiness before then? Perhaps you would answer yes, perhaps other people would answer no. The point is, because we have freewill, it's our decision whether or not to have children, understanding that bad things can happen at any time. My niece died when she was only eight days old and never once did I hear her parents say they wish they had never had her and I, for one, am I glad I got to share in their happiness if only for such a short while. Bad things happen all the time but we learn and grow from our experiences to, hopefully, become better and more empathetic people.

Robin said...

Hey John I just ordered a copy of your book. Now that suffering has been dealt with the rest out to be alot easier. :)

sconnor said...

jason

Yes God can suspend natural laws, I never argued He couldn't.

You are a liar. I'm glad John let's you sputter and flail here, every once and a while, to remind us how delusional you are and what lengths you'll go to make your ridiculously, strained conclusions.

One only has to go back, a few posts, and re-read what you said about how god deals with his earthly children suffering:

You said, Asking God to step in and save your son from an oft fatal disease is asking Him to suspend the laws of our moral universe, one that's governed by cause and effect. I wonder if you would be so caviler about the suspension of these laws if the victim was a herd of cows or a serial rapist or a corrupt government official whose citizens were starving to death. What's so ironic about this is you don't even believe in the very God you claim is bound by duty to act in your life.

It had absolutely NOTHING to do with being a believer or not.

Your premise was clear, god CAN'T suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases. It had nothing to do with atheism. Your follow up sentences try to bolster your premise by giving examples of what would happen if god did suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect.

Now that you were caught with your britches down, you can't admit you were wrong, so you must scramble and pretend, what you really meant was atheist, blah, blah, blah.

I'm patiently explaining to you that, as the verses you provided show, one must first believe in the same God they're asking to intervene in their life.

Which begs the question; why doesn't god suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases, that are true believers? No doubt your pathetic answer will be he does what he wants, but how does that distinguish him from a god who doesn't exist?

So now your premise is god can suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect, but just, NOT to atheists, NOT to, the other billions of souls, who don't believe in the christian god and NOT to the true believers, if he so chooses.

Which means, your god neglects his earthly children, letting them suffer in deplorable, vile, unimaginable suffering, every second of every day.

Which takes me to this argument, you continue to ignore:

When a child suffers, I, as a father, am obligated to ease his suffering, take care of him, love him, which should be second nature, to any father, who loves his son -- which in turn, if a father neglects his child and let's him wallow in pain and anguish -- suffering in unthinkable ways; this father would be held in contempt -- he would be exposed as an abusive, negligent monster. Why does your heavenly father, neglect his earthly children, letting them suffer in repulsive, insanely unthinkable, ways?

And you must reconcile these verses, again:

Mt.7:8 and Luke 11:9-10 -- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Matthew 7:9-11 -- Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

Matthew 18:19 -- Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them

John chapter 14:14 -- Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.


This certainly suggests god will oblige, doesn't it Jason?

Still scrambling -- what to say, what to say? How will you cover your butt this time, Jason?

More importantly why does a person (even true believers) have to beg god, to suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect by healing people from oft fatal diseases or any form of egregious suffering?

As an atheist, you're wondering why the God you don't believe didn't step in and save your son.

I wasn't an atheist -- why did god let my son suffer?

Why does he let any believer's children suffer?

Why does he let ANY children suffer?

Why does he continue to neglect the millions of, his earthly, children, who suffer in repugnant ways?

On the other hand, if you were a faithful believer and tragedy struck your life (as it ultimately does with everyone), you would understand where pain and suffering comes from and why God allows people to experience it. Job is great example of this.

Oh, yes, you have all your bases covered now -- god can intervene, god can't intervene, god CAN suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect, god CAN'T suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect --people (believers and non-believers) continue to suffer horribly every day -- explain to me how this is different from god NOT existing?

Furthermore the book of job is only a great example of how absurd and horrific your god is.

Once again Jason your mindless attempts at salvaging your god's ridiculous and vulgar reputation are both idiotic and ludicrous. The story -- yes the STORY of Job is a revolting and disturbing little ditty, that paints your god as a deranged, monster. God is the cosmic equivalent to a sick, juvenile delinquent who has an ant farm and on some boring, afternoon, day, decides to take an ant out of it's farm and torture it by pulling the legs off one by one, then decides to slowly burn it with a magnifying glass. And why does god torture Job? It's to prove a petty little point to satan. God is nothing more than an insecure, contemptible, piece of crap, who tortures people to get his rocks off and make inane points at the expense of his earthly children.

What makes this asinine story and Jason's defense of it so revolting is the absurd notion that god gave him more than he had at the start. After god tortures Job and kills his children, he decides to make everything better, restore the faithful Job to his healthier self and with the compassion of a demented, dictator, he replaces Job's seven sons and three daughters with an entirely different set of children. I mean what kind of screwed-up, god is this? How can the excruciating pain of losing a child be removed by replacing it with the birth of another? What is god saying? -- that a child is expendable and then replaceable like a lost CD or new ants for the ant farm?

I know the overwhelming devastation and the crippling grief, the death of my son, caused me. A deity could give me all the wealth in the world and a thousand other sons, but nothing and no one could replace Connor. The very idea of it is insane and makes me nauseous and only points to the story of Job as being an absurd, heartless, myth, compiled by primitive, superstitious men.

In summing up this myth, god can cause, egregious pain and suffering; he can neglect his earthly children and only if you are faithful, will he intervene. This still doesn't explain why god doesn't always intervene on behalf of a believer -- does it Jason? [Refer to verses, posted above]

Why doesn't god always intervene for a believer, especially, in the case of children, suffering in unimaginable vile, pain and anguish? Remember, in the story of job, god intervenes, because job is a believer.

Read, God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question -- Why We Suffer, by Ehrman.
I don't even know why I would suggest this for you; undoubtedly you will ignore this book like you ignore all the other books that were suggested. You choose to steep yourself in ignorance and if I remember correctly, that was, just, one of the reasons, John banned you, from this site.

Actually, the question is, how hard would it be for YOU to accept God's "reasonable" reason why He refused to give you a child? Would you believe Him? And if you did, would you think the suffering to occur 10 years down the road would be worth missing out on the 10 years of love and happiness before then?

You, really, do have a difficult time comprehending. Here is what I answered:

...if god so chose to reveal himself and make his action and reasons known to me personally, without relying on spurious, apologists, like your self, I'm sure we could come to an understanding.

Do you have a learning disability? Your inability to address all my questions, specifically and your inability to comprehend, have become increasingly, tiresome. You are a coward who, simply, ignores the hard questions, put forth to you, like a two year old who closes his eyes, jams his fingers in his ears and loudly sings, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la -- allowing you to wallow in the illusion of truth and the bogus sense that you are correct.

The point is, because we have freewill, it's our decision whether or not to have children, understanding that bad things can happen at any time.

But we really don't analyze all the potential "bad things". I've argued that but you simply, ignore the specifics of the argument.

My niece died when she was only eight days old and never once did I hear her parents say they wish they had never had her

And I never said that either -- my contention is why does god let people, especially young, innocent, children, suffer in hideous, vile unimaginable ways?

Bad things happen all the time...

Oh, really profound; tell me something that I don't know.

...but we learn and grow from our experiences to, hopefully, become better and more empathetic people.

Your definition of suffering is shallow and limited. Evidently, you can not admit to the magnitude of human suffering, that has gone on throughout time. With so many people that are suffering and have suffered, in so many horrific, differing ways, how can you even begin to quantify the wretched misery? You dismiss all other forms of excruciating pain and unspeakable suffering to only include your myopic rationalization that suffering is allowed by god so that you can "become better and empathetic with the experience"

The fact is millions of people, through out time, do succumb to suffering, people do give up, people are broken and become incapacitated, mentally unstable, mentally crippled, or attempt/commit suicide.
Furthermore, millions have suffered throughout time, millions of people have been ignored and neglected, tortured and slowly died in anguish. How exactly does that fit into your asinine rationalization? These people never grew stronger nor became better and more empathetic people.

--S.

Lvka said...

And apropos animal suffering...

Scott said...

Jason wrote: "I'm patiently explaining to you that, as the verses you provided show, one must first believe in the same God they're asking to intervene in their life. I trust you can see the problem here. On the other hand, if you were a faithful believer and tragedy struck your life (as it ultimately does with everyone), you would understand where pain and suffering comes from and why God allows people to experience it. "

Jason,

Please re-read what you just wrote here. It's very telling.

You might as well have wrote...

If all the suffering experienced here on earth hasn't prevented you from believing in an all powerful and all knowing God who is in control, then you'll believe in an all powerful and all knowing God who is in control and allows suffering. Otherwise, the suffering you experienced was because you didn't believe in God.

sconnor said...

jason

Another thing, god being omniscient, would know, that the majority of his earthly children, would not believe or have faith in him, for one reason or another (not understanding his messages; being born into another belief system; god's message not being able to get to the masses, throughout history; people using reason and not finding objective evidence for the existence of god, etc.) which means he knows it is an impossibility for them to have faith, in the one true christian god, which in turn, using jason's loopy logic, means the majority of god's earthly children have no recourse for god to suspend the laws, that are governed by cause and effect, thereby neglecting the majority of his earthly children to suffer in horrible ways -- god let's his earthly children suffer. Which only leaves the true believers (a minority), who have faith, in him, and that's a crap-shoot too. If a god exists, then he is contemptible, for letting his earthly children suffer in so many vile, inhuman ways.

--S.

Steven Bently said...

Daniel said...
Steven,

"Connoting animals with human sins is a false dichotomy. Moses didn't give the ten commandments to tigers he gave them to people. Unless there is a tiger Moses out there I don't know about I don't see how accusing animals of sinning fits into why they suffer.

So Daniel according to your reasoning, all humans suffer and die because they are bound to the laws of the Ten Commandmants?

Yet all animals, insects, and plants suffer and die and are held to the same laws of nature as humans?

So according to you Daniel, Moses' law was written for humans, thus animals and plants are free to live and suffer as long as they desire, because they are not bound by the laws written by Moses?

Why are you being so absurd?

Robin said...

John,

You could just change the word grace to mercy. None of God's creatures deserve His mercy either and the Bible does say that God's mercy is over all of creation.

Psalms 145:9

The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all He has made.


Either way God does nothing wrong by allowing suffering. He's not obligated to show His mercy either.

Scott said...

Robin,

When you say "...God does nothing wrong by allowing suffering.", are you not merely advocating might = right?

For example, what if we were actually created by beings that were merely more powerful and more technological advanced than us - such as an alien race that was ahead of us by 10,000 years? Would you still think they were not obliged to reduce our suffering?

Robin said...

Scott,

There's a difference of levels of reality between us and God. They have moral as well as metaphysical significance. Between us and God there is a vast difference in the kind of reality and relative status. He is the head of the covenant; we are the servants. He is the Lawgiver, we recieve His laws etc. He has rights and prerogatives we do not. These differences place God in a different moral category as well.

God is transcendent. Because He's the covenant Lord He is nor required to defend Himself against charges of injustice. He's the Judge and we are not.

Again, since God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.

Scott said...

Robin wrote:Between us and God there is a vast difference in the kind of reality and relative status.

I'm aware of this supposed difference. What I'm questing is the conclusion you've reached based on this difference, and why it is unique to God.

Robin wrote: He is the Lawgiver, we recieve His laws etc. He has rights and prerogatives we do not. These differences place God in a different moral category as well.

You've told us nothing new. You define God as being more powerful and more intelligent than us. Therefore, you think he has the right to allow us to suffer.

You've merely asserted these roles in the case of God, and excluded the possibility of any other being would be significantly more intelligent and more powerful than us.

Robin wrote Again, since God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.

But you've just essentially said that God doesn't need a justification.

Robin said...

Scott,

Just because God doesn't need a justification doesn't mean He doesn't have one. He doesn't need to defend Himself against charges of injustice.

He alone is the unique self- sufficient God. He's not in the same category as other beings.

sconnor said...

robin

Oh good another christian who knows the mind of god.

Care to address my arguments, specifically? No christian has thus far.

1. So, because god created us, he can do anything to us -- even the most heinous, sick and unimaginable, violation one can conceive of?

2. The only difference, between a genocidal maniac and god, is god, created us -- right?

3. I, also, have to wonder, using your loopy logic, god let my ten year old son suffer, egregiously, for months with leukemia, only to die from a massive heart attack, because he is god and he can do what he wants -- that's how you try and salvage his reputation? This is how you justify suffering?

4. So the supreme moral giver, can't be held to the morals he commands? This seems to render the Good Samaritan Parable and an all-loving god obsolete and paints your god as a miserable, hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preaches.

5. When a child suffers, I, as a father, am obligated to ease his suffering, take care of him, love him, which should be second nature, to any father, who loves his son -- which in turn, if a father neglects his child and let's him wallow in pain and anguish -- suffering in unthinkable ways; this father would be held in contempt -- he would be exposed as an abusive, negligent monster. With this analogy in mind, why does your heavenly father, neglect his earthly children, letting them suffer in repulsive, insanely unthinkable, ways?

6. But using your idiot logic, we can't hold a god -- your father, in the sky, who, every second, of every day, neglects his earthly children -- to the same standards; the only standard we possess to make that determination and a standard supposedly, created and instilled, into our souls, by god?

Just because God doesn't need a justification doesn't mean He doesn't have one. He doesn't need to defend Himself against charges of injustice. He alone is the unique self- sufficient God. He's not in the same category as other beings.

7. And besides pulling this information out of thin air, how, exactly, are you privy to this information? Please substantiate your claims.


--S.

Robin said...

Well, since God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.

There's a difference of levels of reality between us and God. They have moral as well as metaphysical significance. Between us and God there is a vast difference in the kind of reality and relative status. He is the head of the covenant; we are the servants. He is the Lawgiver, we recieve His laws etc. He has rights and prerogatives we do not. These differences place God in a different moral category as well. He alone is the unique self- sufficient God. He's not in the same category as other beings.

God is transcendent. Because He's the covenant Lord He is nor required to defend Himself against charges of injustice. He's the Judge and we are not.


Grace is free because God would not be the infinite, self-sufficient God He is if he were constrained by anything outside himself.

Creation experiences God's goodness not as a response to it's demerit but still without deserving it. You cannot deserve as a non-being, to be created and put on this earth to have all your needs met. Grace is something that not even the animals deserve. Grace by definition is getting something good that we don't deserve and therefore, God is never obligated to treat animals or humans with any kind of grace, whether it's common grace or saving grace. If He was it wouldn't be grace.

God is never obligated to show grace or mercy to His creation. If He was it wouldn't be grace and mercy. Nothing and nobody deserves His grace or mercy so He does nothing wrong in withholding His grace or mercy and allowing evil and suffering. Again, He has many rights and prerogatives that we do not. Since God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.

Romans 9:

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

sconnor said...

robin

Your inability to answer my questions, specifically, speaks volumes.

Just ignore the arguments and pretend like they don't exist and keep repeating:

God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.
God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.
God is good He has a morally justifiable reason for allowing suffering. I just don't know what it is.


...without ever substantiating your claims.

I'm waiting for you to address my questions.

I numbered them, for your convenience, 1-7.

--S.

Robin said...

sconner,

I answered your questions. You don't want an answer. This speaks volumes about your idiot logic.

sconnor said...

robin

I answered your questions.

In your mind -- maybe.

You are so steeped, in your delusion -- you only think you answered my questions.

You most certainly have not addressed my questions. Like a large flightless bird, you plant your tiny head, in the sand and blatantly, ignore, each and everyone, of my questions.

Go through my questions one by one and answer them, specifically.

You don't want an answer.

Yes, yes I do want answers to my questions. Address my questions 1-7, specifically.

This speaks volumes about your idiot logic.

And what "idiot logic" are you referring to? You never even addressed my questions, specifically. How is one to know what you are talking about?

Bottom line is you can't address my questions, specifically, can you, robin?

Just pretend like you did answer them; that way you can wallow in the illusion, there are no problems with your extraordinary claims and your supposed, god-knowledge.

Answer the questions, specifically.

I await your deluded excuses and strained conclusions, because you will do and say anything, so you won't have to address those pesky, little, questions, specifically.

--S.

Gandolf said...

Scott this might help Robin make some decisions.

"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them...the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'" (Gen. 1:26,27; 2:22-25)

Then this Christian writing where i got this goes on to say

"God is a Spirit and not a material being---we do not look like God physically. The image of our Creator which we all bear is primarily an invisible, inner likeness. In regard to attributes of personality, mind, creativity, (capacity for love) and express emotions, the existence of will, conscience, imagination, memory and (moral responsibility), and capacity for worship---God has made us very much like Himself.

Yet it seems Scott we humans are not quite so in the likeness of god ,we tend as parents to use grace and do what we can whenever we can to help our children.Even at times when maybe our love could be said to be not quite so deserved and yet most often obligations just dont enter into the equations.

Thats real love isnt it scott .I can tell you really loved your son and still do.Your loss (i feel) also,sensing the type of loving person you are.I can only say im quite sure its likely your son wouldnt ever have asked more of a dad .

If we are supposed to have been made in the likeness of this god ,then maybe according to Robins thinking it could be said that we have no obligations and should maybe not love unless its deserved or maybe only when we feel like it.

But how then can grace ever be achieved.Once we start deciding when and where love and kindness should be happening .

Its no longer (grace) is it, because its earned and not (freely given)

Lvka said...

Hi, John!

Link.

Bye, John!

Robin said...

"With a completely perfect existence why would he ever create anything, especially knowing the kind of mess this world is in?"

John,

How about the idea that God had a good morally sufficient reason for creating a world that now contains evil? There is no contradiction here:

1) God exists, is omnipotent, onmnicient, onmibenevolent, and created the world

2) God created a world that now contains evil and had a good reason for doing so

3) Therefore the world contains evil

Since God had a good reason for creating a world that now contains evil then He did nothing wrong by creating a world that now contains evil. So, we can't say that He shouldn't have created the world.

sconnor said...

robin

How about the idea that God had a good morally sufficient reason for creating a world that now contains evil? There is no contradiction here:

Yeah greeeeeeat idea, (sarcasm) but it is nothing but mere speculation; for you do not possess special, knowledge of god or what his decisions may or may not be. Nor do you have any objective evidence for the god you purport to know.

And there is a major contradiction. If god is omniscient he would have know that vile, unimaginable, suffering would have been the end result of his creation. God neglecting his foreknowledge of events, letting repugnant mass suffering occur, renders his onmibenevolence obsolete -- still allowing this reader to say he shouldn't have created this world or if he is god why couldn't he have created a world where all his objectives were met, that didn't include egregious, unthinkable, suffering?

The cold hard truth of the situation (a hard truth you don't want to acknowledge) is the world operates, exactly, as a world with no god, would operate.

Since God had a good reason for creating a world that now contains evil then He did nothing wrong by creating a world that now contains evil. So, we can't say that He shouldn't have created the world.

Please spare us your infantile conclusions.

Again, you are vomiting up bullsh*t that can't be substantiated

I can make stuff up all day long, too.

My car is running poorly.
Gremlins must be inside my engine.
Gremlins like to mess with humans.
Gremlins hate us.
Gremlins exist.

See, that was easy -- no wonder that's how you present an argument.

If you can't substantiate your extraordinary claims, then you are nothing but an insane, person, who rambles on, making up claims, without ever backing them up -- which isn't even worth the little bit of energy you used to bang out your assertions.

--S.