Do Fish Feel Pain?

Yes, argues biologist Victoria Braithwaite in her new book, Do Fish Feel Pain? These important findings reinforce my chapter on The Darwinian Problem of Evil for The Christian Delusion. What did animals do to deserve their pain? I argue that it doesn't matter one whit whether humans inflict this pain on them or whether God did. There can be no moral justification for it at all, none. I also consider whether these animals, all of them, will be compensated in heaven for their sufferings, as some Christians have affirmed. All you need to do is imagine what a heaven would be like with fish in it, for example, and you can see the silliness of the whole concept. Besides, merely compensating creatures for their sufferings cannot morally justify their sufferings, otherwise we could justify torturing any sentient being by simply compensating them afterward.

108 comments:

Breckmin said...

"What did animals do to deserve their pain?"

The problem is with the English word "deserve" and how it is evasive to existence itself and actuality - which has nothing to do with the actions of an individual. What did a deformed baby do to "deserve" their deformity?
Often the English word "deserve" is improperly used and fails to address the real reason for existence. That of God's purposes and Infinite Decree which is inclusive of logical causes and the actions of creatures who are little sovereign beings with limited sovereignty (and should NEVER be compared to the Infinite Creator).

Breckmin said...

"I argue that it doesn't matter one whit whether humans inflict this pain on them or whether God did. There can be no moral justification for it at all, none."

This is laughable.

The contrast of pain and pleasure is an important part of our learning. It is also important to have nerve endings to tell us when something is wrong.

Why would God need moral justification for anything? He is the Owner of the universe and there is no objective moral standard to appeal to - to even impute any sort of morality without an objective standard (of ownership) for any sort of morality of moral justification.

"I also consider whether these animals, all of them, will be compensated in heaven for their sufferings, as some Christians have affirmed."

It is a temporary creation and there are no need to reward or compensate insects, fish or plants or any non-eternal being.

Even mammalia which have emotions are non-eternal beings and not created in God's Image.

Breckmin said...

"All you need to do is imagine what a heaven would be like with fish in it, for example, and you can see the silliness of the whole concept."

Most believers would never believe
that God has to somehow reward fish in heaven so your whole presentation fails.

As long as you present Christianity incorrectly, you will not be seeking truth.

"Besides, merely compensating creatures for their sufferings cannot morally justify their sufferings, otherwise we could justify torturing any sentient being by simply compensating them afterward."

Why would you ever - and I mean "ever' "ever" compare the Infinite Creator of the universe Who is omniscient and transcendent to "what we could do?"

As long as you make comparisons which are invalid - such as the Infinite Owner and Creator of the universe to finite beings who are Owned by God and are not omniscient and don't observe all of time - you will be led into deception.

It is this comparison (comparing God to humans) that leads you to not understand just how Holy and Righteous God is in His logical ownership of the universe and all He has created (and His purposes for it).

The problem is that your concept of God is far too small and you expect way too little from Him.

Question everything.

Breckmin said...

Question the real reason for pain.
Question the real reason for the savagery of death and what it teach us.
Question applications of the English word "deserve" and how it is often used imperfectly.
Question the difference between an Infinite Creator Who is Omniscient and why you would ever compare Him to a mere finite human being (who has evil motives). Question how a Creator Who sets the standard for Perfection and Morality could ever be somehow guilty of "evil" is His Own universe.

Question why you do not love Him and what you are being misled to believe about Him because you do not understand why He created.

Cole said...

Interesting points Breckmin.

Larian LeQuella said...

@Breckmin:
The problem is that your concept of God is far too small and you expect way too little from Him.

No, I expect him to be somewhat competent. EVERYTHING I have seen of his supposed creation and those who think he's real shows gross stupidity, cruelty, and incompetence.

All your posts real like standard apologetic fare of someone who hasn't had an original though since the day they were born and spoon feed the way the world should be according to bronze age fables, and you are too afraid to see that the universe is just fine without the need for your lazy, stupid, selfish, and incompetent god figure.

Breckmin said...

@ Cole "Interesting points Breckmin."

Thank you, Cole. The most important point to question is whether or not it is logical for someone infinitely small to have logical humility and pray for protection.

Question whether or not you should pray to the Infinite Creator for protection from that which is not from Him and that which is not true.

Question whether or not "trusting" in the Creator is logical.

I understand, however, I have created more questions than answers in such a short response. "Why does God allow the baby to be deformed?" is an important question to answer.

Also, we need to look at "why there is suffering" in the first place. Is it just a result of pain and nerve endings? No. There are probably a dozen reasons why we suffer and often times our
suffering is multi purposed. Some of the reasons we don't know yet, but we are indeed learning and we CAN point to specific reasons but not all of them. God "wills" to happen everything that He allows to happen. This imperfect statement is important to explain and how it applies to all of the specific evils in this temporary creation.

shane said...

Breckmin.

You said in effect that God cannot be judged by humans because He is the owner of everything and can do whatever He wants?

So what does that change even if you were right?
We bring children into the world and we basically own them while they are too young to take care of themselves, does this mean we can do whatever we want with them?

Also, even if there is a God who can do whatever He wants, that does not mean we have to or even should agree with it, if He created us in His image then we obviously have the ability to see the difference of right and wrong actions whether from a God or person!

What kind of a God would set moral guide lines for us to follow but not follow them Himself?
Given this, what meaning does "God can do whatever He wnats" have?

Breckmin said...

"No, I expect him to be somewhat competent."

He is competent and omniscient.
Everything has a purpose whether
or not you identify it or not.

Just because you don't see what
God is doing in this temporary creation to deal with the real problem of us having choices, doesn't mean that the Infinite Omniscient Creator can not answer you. As long as you generalize
and present the specifics of life
incorrectly without the logical
answer - you will project your own
'lack' of understanding toward God
Who understands everything.


"EVERYTHING I have seen of his supposed creation and those who think he's real shows gross stupidity, cruelty, and incompetence."

This is general and doesn't deal with anything specific. God's
reasons for allowing pain are
multiple and have to do with eternal knowledge. As long as you wrongfully isolate on "cruelty" without deal with the specific reasons for the pain or the CAUSES of the pain - you will not begin to understand.

shane said...

Breckmin.

You said "God wills all He lets happen"....?

God willed the Inquisition?
God willed the Crusades?
Gos willed wars between Catholics and Protestants?
God wills other religions to decieve many?
God wills it when people dont believe in Him or the gospel?
Actually that last one contradicts the scriptures themselves since they say that "It is not Gods will that any should perish".

You see that your defeating your own theology with your statement here?

Breckmin said...

"All your posts real like standard apologetic fare of someone who hasn't had an original though since the day they were born and spoon feed the way the world should be according to bronze age fables, and you are too afraid to see that the universe is just fine without the need for your lazy, stupid, selfish, and incompetent god figure."

Like I said. These are general and deal with no specific point or reason for objection. They can be reduced to ad hominem and drawing attention to the "believer" rather than to all of the specific reasons for the belief structure itself. Question everything..perhaps then you will actually question rather than judge people of being spoon fed when you don't know anything about them.

Breckmin said...

"We bring children into the world and we basically own them while they are too young to take care of themselves, does this mean we can do whatever we want with them?"

No. You do not own your children...that would falsely be comparing yourselves to God.

God owns your children...and God even owns every woman's body and the fetus (that looks like a baby)
that grows in her womb.

We do not own our children the way in which God owns everything. God alone owns all that is in His universe (choices complicate the creation because these are real decisions of little creators and God does not 'own' (imperfect application) our choices).

shane said...

Breckmin.

If "it is not Gods will that any should perish but that all would come to the knowledge of the truth" then why do many people NOT come to the knowledge of the truth and perish?

Obviously if the bible is true in what it says then it is not Gods will whatever He lets happen and you make these answers up!

Breckmin said...

"Also, even if there is a God who can do whatever He wants, that does not mean we have to or even should agree with it, if He created us in His image then we obviously have the ability to see the difference of right and wrong actions whether from a God or person!"

God creating us with a moral conscience gets discombobulated with the fact that God sets the objective standard for all morality in His universe. It is important to remove the confusion and remain philosophically consistent and keep your conscience in check with logic.

Logic would dictate that if we are His "creation" then we would logically be subordinate to Him at all times. This is quite different than us (as sinners) having children who think for themselves and disagree with us.

We do not create our children...we merely give birth or procreate them through processes of reproduction which God has put into place. There is a clear difference.

Breckmin said...

"What kind of a God would set moral guide lines for us to follow but not follow them Himself?"

To even ask this question bears withness to the fact that your "God concept" is incredibly small. God is the Giver and Taker of all life...so in this regard God could be said that He "kills" all of us - with respect to our earthly bodies...but this fails to deal with all of the circumstances in the universe and logical causes (including the choices of cognitive beings)which determine our life span. Not only are our heart beats numbered..but also every single orbital of every electron is known by God. God sustains everything with His Infinite Power and Order so as the LawGiver it is utterly ridiculous to start applying the Decalogue to the Infinite Creator. Is God supposed to worship Himself? Foolishness. Is God going to take His own "Name" in vain? More foolishness. Is God going to have another god (some little finite created being)before Him? Incredible foolishness. Is God going to somehow commit adultery? God the Father has no "body" - He is infinite. Is God going to be envious of possessions? Foolishness since God owns everything...including every sub atomic particle. Can God even commit unlawful killing when He sets the Law of the universe? More foolishness since He determines ALL lifespans.


"Given this, what meaning does "God can do whatever He wnats" have?"

Breckmin said...

"Given this, what meaning does "God can do whatever He wnats" have?"

It means that He is the Sovereign Owner of the universe Who needs no moral justification from men/women since His Purposes are infinitely greater than their ridiculous understandings.

But this is incredibly incomplete.
When we say that God is Holy or Righteous it is much more than just saying "God is God" like the logician will reduce it to...because we are talking about a purity and a quality of goodness that can only be compared (with limitation) to LIGHT in contrast to darkness. We are talking about a standard of Goodness which is inclusive of Faithfulness and protection and other qualities which are part of God's Love toward those who trust Him and Trust in Him.

Yes, God sets the standard of "good" in His universe because of logical ownership which needs to be addressed (by the fact that He created) and until you do....
you will reduce this to 'good' and 'evil' being unidentifiable or indistinguishable because of a failure to address the specifics of what God DOES do with this temporary creation.

By what standard would we even appeal to - to say that God is anything BUT good if He is God, Creator and Owner and Determiner of His Own universe. Question everything.

shane said...

Breckmin.

I see what your saying I was a believer too at one time, but God (if He is real) still made us living breathing beings with emotions, conciousness, and the ability to feel pain!.....we are not insignificant creatures for Him to trifle with as you would make it seem, otherwise He lacks the reponsibility that even we humans can possess.

You said-"Can God commit adultry"?...can God take His own name in vain"?....the answer would be no.

But let me ask you a question, can God feel pain?
Will God ever be faced with eternal torment in hell?
Will God ever be as weak as humans are and suffer all we suffer?
I believe the answer is also no!
So given this, it is in my opinion that it is tyrannical for a being like Him to make this way and allow all the evil He does!

Breckmin said...

"God willed the Inquisition?"

The problem here is with your understanding of "willed" and how I am using it to be inclusive of human choices. The concept of "willed" is perhaps the product of very imperfect communication on my part. If I say God "determined" the Inquisition you will wrongfully conclude something tantamount to "God *caused* the Inquisition" which is painfully missing all of the evil choices made by those people (who were wrongfully labeled as Christians) who made evil choices
which resulted in the SPANISH Inquisition.

"God willed the Crusades?"

If I were to say that "God infinitely decreed the Crusades" we would have the same problem as saying "determined" or "infinitely determined" because you would think linearly and believe I am saying that God "caused" the Crusades - which is once again an over-simplification which will lead you to deception.


"Gos willed wars between Catholics and Protestants?"
"God wills other religions to decieve many?"

We still have the same problem. If you think linear and reduce this wrongfully to simple "cause" and effect and ignore the fact that little sovereign creatures (with limited sovereignty) are making real choices which are causing these evil wars to occur
you will wrongfully "blame God" without seeing what is known as "concurrence" and how God "sunergies" or together acts with absolute human choices.

One of the reasons you are doing this is because you are looking at God's infinite decree or state of ordination on a linear timeline rather than through an observation of absolute human choices.

This is extremely important in beginning to understand not only "how their is choice" but also how the doctrine of concurrence allows these choices to be inclusive of God's Soevereign state of ordination/infinite decree -which is NOT simple determinism.

BOTTOM LINE: There is indeed choice. These are decisions made by creatures of volition who have "self-impulsion" with respect to their own will and sovereignty only...not their existence.

I apologize that for some of you - since you have been thinking with a linear understanding of determinism that this will not make sense to you...but there is much much more that needs to be explained here with respect to God "allowing" bad choices = allowing evil.

shane said...

Breckmin.

I think you also misunderstand me. At one time I would have given the type of answers you are so I understand full well what you mean.
The problem is that after years of thought put into these subjects I realized I was wrong!

I realized that a potter creating some vessels for mercy and some vessels to throw waste into (according to Pauls theology) is not comparable to God creating living breathing beings who can feel physical and emotional pain!...who have eternal souls....and who are desperately looking for answers.

Breckmin said...

"God wills it when people dont believe in Him or the gospel?"

It is interesting that the scripture says "God desires all to be saved" - since if everyone was saved - then there would be no such thing as salvation because no one was ever in any real cosmic danger of not being saved. There
would be no "demonstration" of
salvation.

It is important to understand the imperfections of translation and interpretation. We use logic to interpret the scriptures because logic is the greatest hermeneutic we actually have...but it is important to pray for God's Spirit to open your eyes up to the perfect Logic/Word of God in order for you to see it since we are all blind in our fallen condition.
That is what complicates this. It is the concept of "spiritual regeneration" that is necessary to begin to make the correct choices..and cosmically LEARN the truth that will set you free from the bondage of sin.


"Actually that last one contradicts the scriptures themselves since they say that "It is not Gods will that any should perish".

Yet people do indeed perish... How can God be in control of the universe or "sovereign" if His Will is not obeyed?

The problem comes once again with imperfection of terms we are using
and what God is accomplishing in this temporary creation. God is NOT willing that any of His eternal adopted children would ever perish and that is why He has provided such a great salvation (out of our choices - because choice is a danger to us)in this temporary creation which is teaching us and equipping us for all of eternity where God will NOT lose one of His children to eternal evil.
This is every important. How will we even know God is protecting us for eternity if we don't know that there is something for us to be protected from? How could we ever know that "choice" was a danger to us? How could we ever know "how much" (not quantified but referring to Self-Sacrificing)God loves us?

"You see that your defeating your own theology with your statement here?"

I see that the imperfection of English words like "will" and "determined" when looked at from a linear perspective and equated with causation and the removal of human choices leads us to error rather than to truth.

It would first be important for us to distinguish between theological determinism and "infinite determinism" or "sunergeism" (which is NOT the secular indeterminism found on wiki)and how God's Infinite Decree or state of ordination is capable of being inclusive of absolute human choices - and how this relates to the doctrine of 'concurrence.'

shane said...

Breckmin.

It might have seemed in my last few messages that I still believe in the biblical God but just disagree with Him, but I am just speaking according to biblical concepts, I do not believe in the biblical God!

shane said...

Breckmin.

So what exactly DID you mean when you stated "It is Gods will whatever He lets happen"?

Rob R said...

I don't think fish care whether they are compensated or not. I doubt they have such a concept. I expect they would just want to not feel pain (at the moment in which they do, eat, mate, and swim.). I don't buy that they sense any tragedy about their mortality at all. I doubt they sense intrinsic worth of themselves and other fish of their species. Some fish eat their babies. Somehow, I don't think that an entity that senses no existential horror at such an idea has eternal worth.

shane said...

Rob R.

I agree with you as far as your post goes I dont think they know beyond their instincts.
But the question still stands that if fish and all other biological animals feel pain, then why create an animal kingdom that inflicts such terrible pain on eachother?
What does eternal worth have to do with anything?

Breckmin said...

"can God feel pain?"

There are different types of pain.
Emotional pain includes variance. Clearly Jesus felt pain..but God the Father is immutable and omniscient so the concept of "pain" is clearly anthropomorphic or anthropocentric.

God is not man to have nerve endings nor be surprised at the actions of finite created beings whom He observes in an omni-time state. God's pain would need to
be better explained in an actual
perfect language which would not
be inclusive of the concept of "hurt." You can not "hurt" God
in any way...

"Will God ever be faced with eternal torment in hell?"

Nor should He be. He is Holy and Righteous and can not be compared to created beings who "choose" evil... sinners who are sons of disobedience violate the Holy Nature of God. You can NOT isolate
on "eternal torment" without addressing all of the logical reasons which are multi-faceted which make hell logical and eternal.

"Will God ever be as weak as humans are and suffer all we suffer?"

We are not immutable...God is.

"I believe the answer is also no!"
But it sounds like you are about to do something every illogical...and that is to somehow compare our finite existence to God's infinite existence.

"So given this, it is in my opinion that it is tyrannical"

How can an Infinite Omniscient
Creator Who knows what is Perfect and what is Best be somehow "tyrannical?" this is a
concept which would only apply to a human being who is evil and who does not know what is best NOR does he (the tyrannical being) have the eternal glory of Love in mind and what is best for His Children (those who trusted Him).

"for a being like Him"

God is NOT "a being." The being of His existence is an Infinite Existence which is transcendent and omni-time. "A being" implies limitation...and that is indicative that your concept of God is infinitely too small and you expect too little from Him.

"to make this way and allow all the evil He does!"

God's actions are perfectly Good.
When He declares His Righteousness and displays His Holiness by judging evil deeds all that is in this temporary creation will be turned to eternal good. This is what the natural man does not understand. God very will and Nature sets the standard for "good" in this universe and it is completely illogical to accuse Him of somehow being "evil."
The glory of Love forever in Heaven
with Jesus Christ will testify to God's Perfection and His protection and training and equipping of His eternal children
who will always choose to obey Him because of knowledge of evil and motive (love for God because of seeing His Self-Sacrificing Love).

If you remove "love" from the equation..and the necessity of choice in order to have love..and
the potential byproduct of choice (evil) - then you will never begin
to understand why God would create a temporary creation to show His children His love and equip them with the knowledge of good and evil.

Breckmin said...

"I realized that a potter creating some vessels for mercy and some vessels to throw waste into (according to Pauls theology) is not comparable to God creating living breathing beings who can feel physical and emotional pain!...who have eternal souls....and who are desperately looking for answers."

Paul is fully aware of this when he wrote Romans 9. The analogy Paul is making is a simple one..so it is clearly not perfect. It is perfectly what God intended it to be in the scriptures with all of its inexactism of how God works..but clearly God's together acting with our choices is NOT the same thing as a finite man (potter) molding clay.

The point is that this is God's universe and He is working and He knows best. He as "patiently" endured those who would blaspheme against Him and He is "saving people out of" this fallen sinful world of choices which is/are necessary in order to have LOVE.

God's purposes will stand...no matter how it is explained to you here on earth... and you are responsible for your own choices and whether or not you seek "salvation" from yourselves.
Identify your own bad choices and realize you need to be saved from them. This is the beginning of wisdom.

shane said...

Breckmin.

You miss the point.

I asked if God will ever have to face eternal torment in hell or be subject to our sufferings as humans?
I didn't ask if God should be in hell?

According to christian theology God cannot be hurt or be condemned to hell or any such thing.
Yet God creates us with all these terrible pains, torments, weaknesses, fears, and emotional anguish!

How is it not tyrannical to create us while knowing that most of us will probably suffer such horrible agony in hell?....not to mention life itself.

How is hell best for anyone?
There is apparently no getting out, there is no repentance from it, there is nothing ment to rehabilitate or correct our actions since hell is eternal....how is this best for anyone?

You said Gods actions are perfectly good?

I disagree. I dont think Gods actions are good for everyone. How can Gods decision to create us be perfectly good for all those who will go to hell (if the bible were true).
Obviously Gods actions are very bad for some of us.

shane said...

Breckmin.
Bottom line- God being all loving and merciful is not compatible with the existence of an eternal hell or creating us knowing we will be damned!

Breckmin said...

"Breckmin.

So what exactly DID you mean when you stated "It is Gods will whatever He lets happen"?"

There is a logical set of reasons for everything that occurs and exists in this universe. Everything that has a cause is logical to exist...even that which is morally against God because of choices and the potential byproduct of choice (evil). Often this is due to ignorance or lack of knowledge regarding how it is always logical to perfectly obey the Creator. The complication for us comes with the fallen nature which was passed down as a RESULT of judgement.

Until you deal with the whole picture and the 'reasons' for why things are the way in which they are you will miss the logical causes and incorrectly blame God as though an Omniscient and Holy God could ever be blamed.

God has no problem accepting responsibility for what He allows (His Infinite Decree which is
inclusive of absolute human choices which can not be reduced
with linear determinism).

I didn't exactly say "It is Gods will whatever He lets happen"?"

What I said was:

"God "wills" to happen everything that He allows to happen. This imperfect statement is important to explain and how it applies to all of the specific evils in this temporary creation."

"Wills" is in quotes here because it does NOT simply mean causation.
It does NOT simply mean determination.
It can not be reduced to "desires" the way in which we desire things to happen.

When we look at concurrence and infinite determinism with the understanding that God 'sunergeis' or together acts with all human choices and circumstances and observations of them..then we begin to understand that it is utter foolishness to ever compare God to a tyrant.

Rob R said...

But the question still stands that if fish and all other biological animals feel pain, then why create an animal kingdom that inflicts such terrible pain on eachother?

The infliction of pain spurs actions toward survival.

What does eternal worth have to do with anything?

It has to do with the topic, whether fish should get to go to heaven (I don't see way) and be repaid for the pain that is inflicted upon them. (I don't see why).

When a fish is gone, it will feel no injustice in it's torment (not that it felt it to begin with... it no doubt would try to get it to stop, but there's no reason to think that it felt that it ought not feel pain as if it was some moral outrage). And it's doubtful that it will be mourned by other fish.

Breckmin said...

"God being all loving"

Does God love satan? Does God love demons? Omnibenevolence and
all loving are imperfect English words which do NOT address the Holiness and Perfection of the Infinite Creator.

"and merciful"

There is nothing fair about "mercy"
No where does the concept of cosmic fairness or equal opportunity exist in the universe therefore it is not a valid basis to appeal to anything.

Merciful is clearly selective.


"is not compatible with the existence of an eternal hell or creating us knowing we will be damned!"

Not everyone will be eternally damned. It is the glory of love forever in heaven worshipping Jesus and having eternal fellowship
with Him and ALWAYS choosing to obey God and trust Him that is the greater good that TRUMPS evils existence which is necessary in order to have love.

Love requires choice. Choice creates the inevitable potential byproduct of bad choices (evil)or
disobedience. NONE of this can be isolated on without looking at the whole picture of salvation and how God is protecting us in eternity from ever making bad choices.

The reality of eternal separation and logical judgement is unfathomable and something we would never wish on our worst enemy....but it is indeed logical when you look at the Holiness of God.

The reason you do not believe eternal hell is just is because you don't realize how bad sin is.

The reason you don't know how bad sin is - is because you don't realize how Incredibly Holy God is.

This is just one aspect which is multifaceted and can not be isolated from connect premises that make hell eternal.

As long as you isolate on specifics and fail to look at theodicy as a whole you will never
see what is going on here with this temporary creation.

Praying for protection from deception to the Holy God of Abraham is the first step in beginning to open your eyes to the glory of love.

Breckmin said...

"How is it not tyrannical to create us while knowing that most of us will probably suffer such horrible agony in hell?....not to mention life itself."

It is very important to not only discuss infinite determinism/sunergeism with respect to choices and infinite determiners - but ALSO talk about the dual reality of evil.

God makes no mistakes...and it is utter foolishness to think that the Infinite Creator Who is Omniscient could somehow make a mistake.

What people do not realize is that all evil will be "turned to good" or made right in the end - for all of eternity. It is only after God's perfect judgement that the temporary creation and all of its "imperfections" is finally seen at good (by us) and what it was accomplishing.

The greatest act of evil was murdering the Man that God became. Yet this act of Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins is the greatest good and the salvation of all who would believe.
It pleased God to do this...and yet it was EVIL for the Roman soldiers to treat the Man that God became the way in which they did.

This is very important to understand - this dual reality of evil. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers...it was evil for his brothers to do this..these were choices that his brothers made..and yet God "meant" it for good. Once again we have the dual reality of evil. When God judges all evil deeds He will declare His righteousness and His Perfect Justice. His Holiness will be on display for all of eternity through the judgment of the wicked and unbelieving who rejected Him and were His enemies.

God's justice is clearly good for God as is His mercy...but is it "good" for the person who is eternally punished? Once again we have equivocation with respect to perspective. From one perspective it is very bad to go to hell...in fact it is unfathomable to be judged according to your deeds and everything you have ever done wrong against God's Perfection.
On the other hand God's judgement is always "good" because it is Perfect based on His Omniscience and His value setting. Now the reasons for eternal separation are multi-faceted and I would like to go through those with you..but it is very important to see the "dual reality" of evil and how evil is judged in the end and how this will display not only God's Holiness and Justice...but also His incredible mercy to those who did NOT get judged according to their works (but according to Jesus' work on the Cross).

There are two destinies. Justice and Grace. Grace is salvation and Justice is eternal separation from the Glory of God for reasons which are multi-faceted and need to be explained. From the perspective of the one being judged - justice is a "bad" thing...because they do not receive mercy. From the standpoint of the One Who Judges Perfectly - His Righteousness and Holiness will be displayed for all of eternity and His Mercy to those who trusted Him will display His Incredible Love and Grace.

Everything will be made "right" in the end - and so we have this dual reality regarding evil being judged perfectly by God, as well as God turning all evil choices which were made against His children toward their own personal "good."

Yet another thing to discuss in greter detail. Question everything.

Andre said...

Reading the wise words of people like Brekmin here I am again reminded that, at least as far as our respective understanding and participation in any discussion on animal suffering, predation and so on we are still on a level where we are speaking past each other.

Atheist : you see there, this clearly disproves your concept of a loving god.

Theist : yes, thank you, I will have pizza.

Are you theistic people really that dimwitted? Can you really not see how this dismantles your children's Bible version of reality? A loving god can never have brought about these millenia of senseless suffering, all so that a chosen few can spend eternity with him.

Or is it, as I have come to accept, more a case of putting your hands over your ears and going "lalalala", because once you really honestly look at this problem you know your faith will start crumbling?

Anyway, as you were, pizza coming up.

Wade Anes said...

@ Breckmin,

I am constantly amazed at your ability to use so many words, yet say so little. To think of the time you spend typing the tripe you do, it just boggles my mind. Just think of all the things you could be doing with this time instead of persisting in your delusion.

Your defenses have become so tiresome, to complain constantly about the limitations of language, as if it is the fault of language that you believe in an ill-formed, illogical concept. 'The problem' is not with language, the problem is with your invented god. If words like 'infinte' & 'all-anything' are different ONLY when it comes to your god (why only yahweh? why can't this same defense be used for allah or any other god), then they don't mean a thing! Your response to the constant shifting target you present is "well, I'm saying that the goalposts haven't been set properly in the first place". So you need to...MOVE THEM! So when a kicker misses the game winning field goal, it's not that the kick wasn't good enough, it's that they didn't properly set the goalpost? No, Beckmin it's that YOUR KICK IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. End of story.

And process theology, really? You are still harping on this despite the fact that it reduces your god to an incompetent idiot who couldn't get it right on the first try (even thoug he himself said 'and it was good') or he's too much of a sissy to fix it all in one fell swoop.

Also, why are we owed anything for our pain, but animals are not? You said...

<<>>

Why, even temporarily, would a supposed 'omniscient' being allow as much pain as we see in the animal world merely for not being created in 'his image'? Why punish all life except us merely for how he himself created them? OUR suffering counts but animals, no, they're not 'eternal'. Well, neither are we. We are mammals that evoled from ealier animals. So when in the evolutionary chain were we seperated out, when did god decide, 'okay, now they have finally evolved into my image, time to start implimenting the whole 'eternal' thing now? A hundred thousand years ago? Fifty? Or, wait, I know, it was just six thousand years ago, when he picked a small random tribe out in the desert at a time where there were no recording devices, most of the population was illiterate, & dictated to them on some stone tablets (couldn't he have waited unitl the chinese invented paper & the printing press?, He should have picked THEM!) how they are special now, & all those other guys, yeah created them too, but YOU GUYS, man, you are the chosen ones!

Steven Bently said...

per Breckmin,

True love is unconditional, no strings attached! No believing in anything, a requirement! No worshiping, or praying needed!

What kind of god wants or needs worship and prayer???

A man made god would!

"It is Gods will that none should perish!"

Then none will perish!

You're FOS as usual!

shane said...

Breckmin.

I agree with everyone here, you do say alot but I have trouble picking out what exactly pertians to the topic at hand or the question I asked.

I truly believe you have your self made theology (all christians kinda do) which makes sense to you only!

Lack of understanding most of what you say is not do to any disability of my intellect, its because you take too wide of a perspective in your explaination. Your basically ranting on in your own language.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

John wrote, "There can be no moral justification for it".

Do you really think that focussing on maybe the 5-10 minutes of pain suffered by an animal in the wild is a good foundation to make a decision about the existence of God especially when He fully acknowledged and affirmed the existence of such? It's like saying, "evil exists, God acknowledged it and provided a Way to respond and be delivered from it, so because I don't like the truth, I am going to erase the notion of God"

I think this sort of focus, while on the surface, appears noble and compassionate, has quite a different effect in that it leaves people impotent in escaping the cycle of victim/victimizer and it also enables an internal permission slip/justification to continue perpetuating the very cycle they complain about.

Then John wrote, "All you need to do is imagine what a heaven would be like with fish in it, for example, and you can see the silliness of the whole concept. "

Wow, a fish bias! Who would have guessed? I can bet the entire fish population will be glad that God is God and you are not --- this is yet another "exhibit A" of why people cannot be entrusted with roles of authority or empowerment -- someone always gets marginalized...

Gandolf said...

Breckmin said...."God's actions are perfectly Good.
When He declares His Righteousness and displays His Holiness by judging evil deeds all that is in this temporary creation will be turned to eternal good. This is what the natural man does not understand. God very will and Nature sets the standard for "good" in this universe and it is completely illogical to accuse Him of somehow being "evil."
The glory of Love forever in Heaven
with Jesus Christ will testify to God's Perfection and His protection and training and equipping of His eternal children
who will always choose to obey Him because of knowledge of evil and motive (love for God because of seeing His Self-Sacrificing Love)."

Breckmin dont you relize a muslim islamist could try and suggest the same type things to try and make bombing people and the availbility of 70 virgins seem logical and realistic .

Natural man just doesnt understand reasons why blah blah etc etc.

Bingo ! ....Throw human logic aside and it seems it could all actually be correct

Its why these god beliefs are all so very dangerous

Anything could be suggested to be correct.

If it dont seem so humanly logical or moral,the theist just trys to suggest anything gods do has to be moral and correct because he`s god and as the great creator doesnt live by any human standard

By that type standard,god could equal what ever the particular theist tends to think

The options are endless

Gandolf said...

Breckman said.."Even mammalia which have emotions are non-eternal beings and not created in God's Image."

What standard do you rely on the Breckman standard ? ...The bible ?

What proof do you have what image god is ?....How can you be sure god might not be in the image of a fish or insect?



Brecky.."The problem is that your concept of God is far too small and you expect way too little from Him."

What the need to be seen to practice what you preach,by the brckman thinking is thinking to small ?.Should our moral type guidence be the type of "do as i say not as i do" ?.In following footsteps of gods our father,is this attitude what you suggest we should also pass on to our own offspring?.Do as i say,not as i do

Are you sure you are not simply using the breckman bible stanard to try to make any old excuse seem to look like it fits?.

Brecky.."As long as you present Christianity incorrectly, you will not be seeking truth."

How can you be sure the brecky/ bible standard is actually correct? ...What objective standard do you have available to use to double check that the brecky and bible standard is actually correct ?.

You tell us to question everything....Do you practice what you preach? ...or are you maybe guilty of taking the postion of thinking maybe you are some all knowing god.

You tell us god has reasons even if we dont know them.....So what objective standard do you use to decide what can be thought to be known?.The brecky standard? ...The bible prophets standard who were also only mere men like brecky is?

You tell us not to think to little of gods.....But what objective standard does brecky have to be sure he isnt actually thinking far to much of gods?.

You do need something to double check it all, right?...Otherwise you could simply just keep dreaming up any old idea that you can dream up to try to hopefully make it all seem to fit.

You could be telling folks they are maybe thinking to little of gods,when in actual fact maybe you could just as easy be way out of line! a complete dreamer and expecting far to much.

Gandolf said...

Rob R said...."When a fish is gone, it will feel no injustice in it's torment (not that it felt it to begin with... it no doubt would try to get it to stop, but there's no reason to think that it felt that it ought not feel pain as if it was some moral outrage). And it's doubtful that it will be mourned by other fish."

Has this all actually been scientifically proved yet.

And even if it has.Does the fact the fish hasnt the mind to feel this moral outrage make it ok? ....If so what about a human lacking the mind to feel this moral outrage ...is that then ok too?

Elephants are known to feel loss of loved ones.....Maybe the feel moral outrage at being shot by humans or killed by a pride of lions.

Will the pride of naughty lion murderers end up in hell ?

Wade Anes said...

Hmm, I thought I quoted you, Breckmin, didn't seems to show up. That last paragraph is in response to your comments about being a temproary creation & fish not need reward, or even other mammals that have emotions as we do.

zenmite said...

I first raised the animal pain issue with a christian years ago. His answer was simple and seems to be supported by most christians. "Animals don't have a soul." Some seem to be suggesting that it isn't enough for a living being to experience pain, but they must feel 'moral outrage' or 'existential pain' in order for their suffering to matter.

What about infant children that die? Do they experience moral outrage at their pain or existential anxiety about impending death? Or the severely retarded? Plainly it rests upon the notion of humans having a magical soul that sets them apart from animals. Even infant children have this mysterious soul, but an intelligent ape that can converse with you in sign language does not. There isn't a shred of evidence for soulism, yet most of the world's religions rest upon it's existence in some form.

Gandolf said...

Exactly what i meantZenmite.But you said it much better,what about the severely retarded.Do they feel this moral outrage enough?.Its quite possible they never felt injustice in it's torment!,quite likely maybe it never even felt such a thing to begin with !, Rob R

shane said...

Zenmite makes a good point here, I myself was always told the same thing by christians I new.
They also told me that the reason animals have to suffer as we do is because of sin entering the world and the world being cursed because of what Adam and Eve did?

When I was told these things I always wondered how that could make any sense since God made some animals with the tools to kill and inflict pain, yet made others strictly vegetarians?
I mean....what did carnivores do before sin entered the world?
It seems to me that if there is a creator, then they definitely intended the animal kingdom to be what it is (a savage and unmerciful struggle for survival)!
Otherwise its just the way life found to survive.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

The creation stories of Genesis 1-2 are late (The earliest accounts have God fighting with the dragon and the sea (Hebrew: Yam) to create some primordial order).

But let assume (for argument sake) that the parallel stories in Genesis 1-2 are the earliest creation events and that we even harmonized all their discrepancies. Then we can reealy see that the God of Genesis 3 was indeed an evil and sadistic God who creates two humans with the mindset of children, puts a plate of fleshly baked chocolate chip cookies (that wonderful fruited tree) within their reach and then dares them to touch /eat it!

To make certain they fail and can be eternally punished, God creates a talking serpent and allows it to teach Adam and Eve the only wisdom they have ever heard. Textual facts prove the serpent does not lie and teaches them all the hard core facts that this God (plural in Hebrew) fears.

In short, they were setup for destruction by this so-called loving and caring father God from the start!

To further show the cruel intent of this God, the Genesis 1 -2 accounts don’t reveal the fact that this same God paralleled the Garden of Eden creation with an outside the Garden creation in which he created parasites, viruses, storms and any other evil concept that came to his sinful mind.

Thus, the same God who planed man’s defeat in the cookie factory, now has something already awaiting them: A horrible world of pain and suffering to hid his total failure to lead his new creation!

To further condemn these two human creatures forever and hid these evil intends, he has his son murdered and blames it all on humanity as Original Sin covered under his forgiveness!

So, drear Christians, there are two way to read this Creation story and I did the other.

Fact is, you believers can paint me with Original Sin and in a Fallen State, but I’m not stupid and I can read the Genesis account for what it really is as the facts speak for themselves.

Thus, not even with theology as his salvation, nothing can spear the reality and evil intent of this sadistic God!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Breckmin

I took your advice and doubted everything you said but first prayed for God's protection and after I doubted it, it still read like one long ad hoc rationalization of suffering demanding special pleading and arguments from ignorance.

Rob the ethics you apply towards animal suffering seem very similar to the opinion in Roe V Wade which argues for "viability" to determine personhood in abortion. I didn't know you were pro choice.

Double A said...

All I can say John is that if you cannot imagine a heaven with fish in it; you do not have much capacity for imagination. No offense. Oh wait; you might be a person who believes the whole earth could be a microscopic speck within a vastly enormous universe, right? ...but no way could there be a heaven vast enough for fish? Wow. It seems to me that atheists are so hung up on not accepting that there is a God; and not 'succumbing' to this so-called Christian authority; that you fail to see that the whole creation is more amazing and spectacular than anything you could ever dream up. And it's real.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

On the surface, this gives the appearance of being noble hearted and compassionate to be concerned about fish suffering and being angry because of it. But by focussing on evil and suffering as a problem, all that is accomplished is that we end up coooperating with perpetuating more suffering and evil by giving justification to the process of contempt and scapegoating.

God's plan for animals is that the lion lies down with the lamb in peace. But animals are the most vulnerable to being instinctively reactive to the prevailing spiritual atmosphere.

Jesus never promised that there would never be any pain or suffering. As a matter of scripture (and empirically evidenced in everyday life) there will always be poverty and there will always be wars.

Jesus acknowledged the existence of enmity and He also exemplified how to respond to such -- with love.

bye,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

You said it is Gods plan that lions and lambs lay down together, and more or less that it is the evil in the world which animals succumb to and that is why they suffer as well as inflict pain?

?....I strongly disagree, if it wasn't in Gods plan that lions rip apart gazel and zebra for their food, then why did He equip them with teeth and claws which have those exact purposes????

Like I said on this topic before, what did carnivores do before the fall if it is the worlds evil that causes them to kill other animals?

Also, if all animals were herbavores before the fall, then why aren't all animals effected by sin?....why is it that only some animals are equipped to kill and others are peaceful vegetarians????

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane --- You said, "?....I strongly disagree, if it wasn't in Gods plan that lions rip apart gazel and zebra for their food, then why did He equip them with teeth and claws which have those exact purposes????" and you also wrote this,

"why is it that only some animals are equipped to kill and others are peaceful vegetarians????"

I wouldn't necessarily assign a permanent meaning to teeth and claws that you do and I am actually seriously wondering if a plant would consider a vegetarian animal "peaceful"....

I don't think teeth and claws have to be used for the sole purpose of predatory pursuits -- just the mere fact that there are such wide and diverse variances in animal life is yet another example of God's creative spirit.

And let's face it, it would be really hypocritical of me to condemn, sensationalize, demonize, villify or otherwise stigmatize an innocent animal for gratifying their hunger while they are visiting here on this earth.

You then said, "Like I said on this topic before, what did carnivores do before the fall if it is the worlds evil that causes them to kill other animals?"

"Before the Fall" is something that I can only conjecture, but with God I am wondering if beings would have any physical hunger or thirst that could not be satiated with some sort of manna. Although the divine realm is described as attending a banquet, I don't think it will be about food - more about enjoying the diversity of God's creativity. Again, this is strictly conjecture, but kind of interesting to imagine.

Well that's all for now,
ttyl,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

?....
You said you wouldn't permanently assign teeth and claws?....?
So lions, bears, tigers, all ate vegetation at one time?
And then after the fall, God chose which animals would be killers and which would not?....even though all animals were effected by sin?....

Secondly, you said-"I would wonder if a plant would consider a vegetarian animal peacful....
Well MMM do plants feel pain?
Do plants have a conscious mind to consider anything??
Do plants have nerves and emotions?....the answer is NO, so I dont see the comparison.

Also, teeth and claws are not just used for predatory reasons but also defence....yet a carnivores tools main reason is for killing, I dont see how you can argue that?

this whole manna thing is another of your answers....?
Lions, bears, tigers, anacondas, crocodiles all ate magical manna before the fall....?

Lets face it....if there is a creator then the creator made these animals what they are and condones killing and suffering....or....evolution found a way to survive.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane --- you said this,

"And then after the fall, God chose which animals would be killers and which would not?....even though all animals were effected by sin?...."

I doubt that God "chose" to have any animals kill one another since His plan is for the lion to lie down with the lamb. However, when survival of the fittest is the prevailing trend in the world, it stands to reason that those who are more enabled, are going to target those that are less enabled.

This pattern is in accordance with "survival of the fittest" which is antagonistic to faith (in which there is no need for predatory/exploitive pursuits or victim/victimizer roles).

Shane, you also said this,
"this whole manna thing is another of your answers....?"

I presented this as conjecture, not an "answer"...just saying....

Also, about this, "Do plants have a conscious mind to consider anything??
Do plants have nerves and emotions?....the answer is NO, so I dont see the comparison."

Shane, I was not being too serious here, but I would not discard the possibility that someday we may learn things about plants that we never knew before.

I just want to reiterate that I do not advocate assigning guilt/sensationalism to satiating hunger on this earth for either humans or animals, whether the source is of animal or plant life. This would be hypocritical of me to do so.

And, if one wishes to ponder why God would create a system of predatory pursuits, I would have to counter that His plan was that the lion lies down with the lamb and that God also acknowledges the existence of enmity that does promote predatory pursuits. Until that day that we are set free from cooperating with enmity, I am grateful that I have food to eat.

Animals are innocent, even if their actions incite offense at those who are critical.

Will animals be in heaven? I think so - not as a "compensation" for their suffering but rather as God's total reclamation of living beings from mistreatment/enmity.

Good talking with you, Shane,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

Well we are all entitled to our opinions thats what this site is about, but in regards to your statement-"those who are more enabled are gong to target those who are less enabled".

I have to say that why are lions and such more enabled then say deers, gazels, etc....?
Why would God make some animals more enabled to kill then others....He was supposed to be the designer according to the bible?

I understand what your saying, that God made aniamls the way they are, and lions, tigers, pythons and such just happen to be more efficient at killing.
But I seriously think your wrong here.

For instance-it is proven and witnessed in documenting predatorial animals that their killing tools are very specific to the purposes in which they are used.
I really cant see a cobra or rattle snake just happening to have a paralyzing or killing venom which just happens to make them an efficient predator????
More likely, if there is a designer, then the designer obviously intended to give those snakes there venom for the expressed purpose of being a predator!

But, like I said....lol....your going to believe in your all loving blameless God no matter what I say here....your going to believe that God intended for lions to lay with lambs dispite the fact that lions can only survive on the flesh of other animals and have the killing tools to accomplish this!!!!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane --- yes, I am going to continue to believe in the God Whose desire is that lions lie down with lambs. I can still believe in that God and also acknowledge that, while here, lion's teeth can be used to bite and devour another animal. Doesn't mean that it will always be that way -- it doesn't mean that just because a lion is different than a lamb in his tooth or claw/body size, that these differences will always be designated for the purpose of killing. See what I mean?

The same goes for ppl -- some will always view antagonists as a threat to be demonized and condemned to an evil personification, but by faith, that need not be the case forever.

ttyl,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

Of course lions teeth can be used to bite other animals, that is their purpose they have no other!

I dont see what other designations a lions teeth and claws could ever possibly have, so I guess I'll end this amusing topic by saying that unlike you, I'll continue to see the world for what it has to show us and teach us about itself!
I think observing the world is what we ought to be doing because it is our true teacher not some 2000 year old superstitious book of fantastical places and miracles!

Lvka said...

Yes, they do. (I can't believe you even asked that..)


There can be no moral justification for it at all, none.

Our religion agrees: torturing animals is forbidden. (Not that we're vegans, but I assume that's not what you were talking about..)


There's no "justification", but I guess you probably meant "cause", not "justification": the cause is man. He was the first (and last) self-aware, rational, sentient animal, having a mind and a will of its own. Only by his conscious accept of God can he, along with all creation that is under him, enter life, whose only source is the living God. Other animals obviously can't do this, so they suffer the consequences of our choices and delays, and the whole responsability falls upon our own shoulders.

Gandolf said...

MMM said...."And, if one wishes to ponder why God would create a system of predatory pursuits, I would have to counter that His plan was that the lion lies down with the lamb and that God also acknowledges the existence of enmity that does promote predatory pursuits. Until that day that we are set free from cooperating with enmity, I am grateful that I have food to eat."

Maybe the gods meant the lion will lie down with the lamb while ripping and tearing it to peices.That seems possible,as maybe eating that lamb might be easier lieing down than it would be standing up.

But anyway MMM it seems lions far from lieing down and cuddling wee lambs have actually decided to now start chewing on elephants as well.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
life_and_style/article658614.ece

Whats the rub with that??

Im not a vegitiarian and siteing some blood doesnt really scare or worry me.But i still dont enjoy seeing any living being suffering greatly .....I just hope i never have to see a pack of lions tearing a elephant apart slowly.And hear the crys of tormant

Why couldnt the creator atleast create these animals with a way to kill for food without the need for causing so much suffering and pain.

shane said...

Lvka.

I think your post was a typical christian response do to the brainwashing one recieves in their religious conditioning!

You said it is mankinds fault that animals suffer because we brought the curse on them as well as ourselves?

Well....assuming for arguments sake the bible is true, then it was God who made us as well as all life here when He already knew beforehand that He would have to curse it!

Also, it was God who placed the tree of knowledge in front of mans face when He knew beforehand man would fall becuase of it!
He also allowed the serpent to come in and tempt Eve when He knew beforehand it would destroy us all!

Also, in the letter of James, it states that God tempts no one! We are tempted when when were lead astray by our own evil desires.
Now if this is true....then God must have created Adam and Eve with evil desires in the first place, otherwise the serpent would not have been able to tempt them!
The serpent wouldn't have been able to temp them if God hadn't made them too weak in the first place!

Lvka said...

The fall was not inevitable, nor was temptation irresistable, if that's what you mean.

But that's not what I said.

My point was that we were the first animals capable of entering into dialogue with God, the only fount of life and immortality, and were we to have grabbed His out-stretched hand, so to say, we would have dragged not only our-selves, but the entire creation along with us, to everlasting peace.

zenmite said...

"the cause is man. He was the first (and last) self-aware, rational, sentient animal, having a mind and a will of its own."

You assert all this as if it were a matter of black and white. It isn't. More a question of degree and how you choose to define the terms.

Self-aware. Many higher animals have some degree of self-awareness. Apes recognize themselves in a mirror. Even dogs know you are calling them and not another. If you choose to define self-awareness as the human kind and degree then you assuring that your assertion is true by circular reasoning.

Rational. Wow. This would exclude many if not most humans too. Animals can be very rational, again depending upon your definition.

Sentient. You think animals are not even conscious? Just automatons? It is obvious to any unbiasted observer that at least higher mammals are very sentient. (eastern religions recognize this since they include all animals as sentient beings) Only western religions exclude animals based upon soulism.

Having a mind or will of it's own.
You haven't tried to get my dog to go out or come in. She definitely has a mind of her own and is very stubborn about getting her own way.

Your simplistic view of animal consciousness seems designed to lead to the conclusions you begin with.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane, Gandolf!

Shane countered with this:

"I dont see what other designations a lions teeth and claws could ever possibly have, so I guess I'll end this amusing topic by saying that unlike you, I'll continue to see the world for what it has to show us and teach us about itself!"

I tried posting a response earlier, but it didn't show up so I'll try again.

I think aesthetically and creatively speaking, that the size of the lions teeth and claws are in proportion to the rest of the animal.

By faith, people are enabled to envision divine potential, and creative imagination.

Then Gandolf, you wrote,

"But i still dont enjoy seeing any living being suffering greatly "

Hmmmmm....really? then why the internet link you provided?? Sounds like a mixed message to me!

3M

John W. Loftus said...

MMM, Cole and Brekmin.

My comment policy says this:

This blog is open to comments by anyone interested, provided: (1) the comments are civil in tone, (2) they speak directly to the issues discussed, (3) they are not spam-like sermons, or book length comments; (4) they don't monopolize the discussion or by repeatedly offering ignorant comments; and (5) they come from Blogger profiles that are make public.

Note rule #4. I'm looking for substantive posts that do not repeat themselves much as a newspaper editor does.

Cole said...

John,

I only repeat myself when you post the same topic. I don't always repeat myself. Many of the people here repeat themselves. The same subjects keep comming up. Anyway, I'll try to do better in the future.

shane said...

Lvka

You said the fall was not inevitable nor was the temptation irresistable????

In round about way yes it was! The fall was inevitable because God fore knew it would result and did it anyway!
The temptation was irresistable for the same reason!
And even if your right about this, it still doesn't change the fact that God set everything up in a way which He knew would result in pain and death for humans and animals!
So the ultimate blame would be on Him!

Why are you christians so quick to blame mankind with such stupid things and be in agreement that we are the cause of suffering which is outside are ability to control, yet you exempt God from being the ultimate source of evils existence and exempt Him from not doing things that He could easily do????

Honestly, I know from experience that the only way to convince people of the bibles truth or the concepts of christianity is to use reverse psychology!

Its like saying-"Its not my fault I left a loaded gun on the table and my child shot themself with it, its my childs fault for not staying away from it after I told them to"!

Come on, there has to be responsibility on both levels!!!!

Cole said...

There was no fall of the human race that caused animals to grow teeth so that they became meat eaters. The overwhelming scientific evidence is that animals were eating animals for millions of years before humans even came on the scene. Even if you try to blame it on the fall I still see no reason for a God who is suppose to be just to punish innocent animals for someone elses wrong doing. This is a "Religious Evangelical Son of Hell" doctrine that must go. It contradicts reality and science.

shane said...

I think Cole said it all just said it all!

Im not arguing that there ever was a fall because I obviously dont think there was, im just arguing the absurdity of the christian theology from their own veiw point.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

John said, "Note rule #4. I'm looking for substantive posts that do not repeat themselves much as a newspaper editor does."

Thx, it seems as though the POE is a recurring topic, dressed up in different guises. Focussing on it, and labeling it a problem (seems rather redundant to me) only magnifies the power of fear to disable and render ppl impotent.
3M

Lvka said...

Zenmite,

I know & I agree... it's just that there's a reason why you don't hire squids as secretaries, dolphins as business-consultants, or apes as lawyers.


------------------------------
Shane,

-- Man's evil choice was neither compulsory, nor necessary, nor inevitable.
-- God creates men, not their evil deeds.
-- The reason for creation is love [as is also the case with human pro-creation], and the reason for us-being-created-free is also the same: love.

Death was not a "curse", it was the logical and natural outcome of our creation: we were composed from the elements, so we decompose into the elements. The Universe was created from nothingness, so it returns to nothingness. But God wanted to break us free from this natural cycle: He alone is by nature immortal, and we can become like Him only through grace (since from our nature we're mortal).


------------------------------
Cole,

link.

Lvka said...

We deduce that we're the ones responsible for the well-being of the world by noticing how change in our ourselves affects the world around us: it is not uncommon for saintly hermits to be unharmed by wild beasts or snakes, nor to remain untouched by the force of elements, or to be healed or protected from various diseases and infirmities.. even holy water has a regular molecular structure, completely uncommon for regular water: and it stays fresh all the time. So God restores His creation through man's holiness: as the Latins said, "homo ornat locum".

shane said...

MMM.

The question "do fish feel pain" is a question steming from the problem of evil?
John even said-these important
findings reinforce his chapter on the Darwinian problem of evil!
So why wouldn't we be talking about it on this particular post?

Cole said...

LVKA,

Thanks for the link but I'm going to stick with scientific evidence here. Animals have been eating each other since their creation. It's a scientific fact.

Gandolf said...

MMM said..."Then Gandolf, you wrote,

"But i still dont enjoy seeing any living being suffering greatly "

Hmmmmm....really? then why the internet link you provided?? Sounds like a mixed message to me!

3M"

Ohh MMM ,do you really suggest because i dont like seeing something,i should make sure to always put my head in the sand, and simply refuse to ever take a look at information that tells us things that are happening??

Come on thats silly.Just because i refuse to ever look at something doesnt stop the fact that its happening.Me acknowledging somethings happens and posting a link to back it up,doesnt mean i find it enjoyable.I simply posted the link so other folks could see the information also.

You are suggesting maybe im a liar, which doesnt really worry me personally .Im just wondering how that works in with your thoughts of your salvation, and that little thing about making false judgement on people.

MMM if somehow ive really upset you and made you harbour some personal grudge,here take a hug, and let me say sorry ! i really didnt mean to.Admittedly i dont think much of many of your beliefs and im often straight up about it,but look i can honestly say i harbour no personal hatered of you.

Anyway all the best, take care MMM

Lvka said...

Cole,

did I ever say they didn't?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane and Gandolf --- Shane you said, "So why wouldn't we be talking about it on this particular post?"

Again, I agree -- I think John, by referring to comment rule #4 was implying/stating that I was being redundant/ignorant etc. The intention of my response to John was that my comments are in accordance with the topics and conversation which are also repeated. I don't mind revisiting a given topic, it's just that focussing on POE as a means to discount God when Jesus already acknowledged (without condemnation) that there would always be suffering and evil, is rather, well, illogical..


And to Gandolf who said this, "Ohh MMM ,do you really suggest because i dont like seeing something,i should make sure to always put my head in the sand,"

I agree - we ought to acknowledge reality but at the same time, be thoughtful of the way we judge or label actions - not to condemn. The lions killing the elephants was at first due to lack of natural food resources and then they probably developed a taste for them. Again, I cannot condemn the lions for what they are doing or be disgusted by them -- they are creatures of instinct.

"MMM if somehow ive really upset you and made you harbour some personal grudge,here take a hug, and let me say sorry ! i really didnt mean to.Admittedly i dont think much of many of your beliefs and im often straight up about it,but look i can honestly say i harbour no personal hatered of you."

Of course I'll take the hug! I'm actually very fond of your comments, Gandolf - always have been! And, BTW, I totally respect that ppl should reserve the right to disagree with one another ---

take care,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

I think John may have been refering to people (possibly myself) for repeating the same arguments over and over, or giving the same song and dance every time

Cole said...

"Again, I cannot condemn the lions for what they are doing or be disgusted by them -- they are creatures of instinct."


I think this was well said. Lions aren't moral creatures but creatures of instinct. What bothers me though is the "Religious Evangelical Sons Of Hell" teaching that God cursed innocent animals because of man's sin and caused them to be meat eaters. That's a doctrine of demons.

shane said...

Cole.

I dont know where you stand here if your a believer or not?
But as an unbeliever myself, I cant help but see the reverse effects in what you said about "it is a doctrine of demons to teach that animals were cursed because of the fall of man and made them meat eater's"

If that is the case then God must also be operating on a demonic level because one way or another, if God created everything then He made some animals meat eating killers regardless of when and why????

Gandolf said...

MMM just a quick reply to say i didnt mean to sound like i was condemming the lions.L.o.L..that would be silly of me,Next thing i`d be suggesting murder convictions for spiders that kill flys.

No as a atheist im quite aware its just all about nature and their instincts.

I didnt post it to condemn,i posted it because i think it fits in with this discussion.Maybe you read to much into atheists interest in these things,trying to work things out doesnt need to mean we are condemning.I think gods dont exist,i dont condemn then.Why would i condemn something i dont even believe exists?

Im sure its partly to do with dry seasons and lack of natural food resources.But not altogether because there had often been plenty of dry seasons before.And other lion prides also went through the dry but didnt adapt to eating elephants.

I suggest this situation also has a large part of the factor of evolution to it.Evolution is happening all the time out there in the animal kingdom,far much more than people even yet fully realize.

Animals are smarter than we think.And getting smarter and smarter as new knowledge is passed on along through their blood lines.

By the way you as a believer believe gods involved in weather patterns right? ...If so then him sending dry weather helped cause the lions hunger yes?.

Seems upside down,when considering scripture said supposedly someday the lion will lie down with the lamb.That idea to me sounds much more like early ideas of ancient man that were simply still trying to fathom what was actually going on around them

Cole said...

Hey Shane,

I don't have anything completly worked out but I've been thinking along the lines of Greg Boyd in "Satan and The Problem of Evil"

God didn't "corrupt" the animals but maybe permitted evil forces to for good sufficent reasons that I'm not aware of at the time.

Cole said...

Shane,

Because I have experienced God's goodness then I am justified in believing that He has morally sufficient reasons for permitting suffering even if I don't know at the time what they are. God's ways are the ways of infinite wisdom mine aren't. There are ways I'm to be like my God and ways I'm not.

Cole said...

Also Shane,

God created the evil demons good and sustained them by His hand of grace upon their heart. When He removed His hand and permitted them to rebel against Him He did so for morally sufficient reasons as well. Let me be clear that my God doesn't delight in evil for the sake of evil. When evil and suffering happen He is in one sense grieved. But because He can see all of reality and the good He will bring out of evil and suffering He is pleased. His emotional life is infinitely complex and cannot be completely grasped by our finite and limited minds.

shane said...

Cole.

Seems like you have to go through alot of uncertian explanations to back up your belief's here?

Actually im not even sure if your even sure what you believe in!
Like alot of christians, you believe in things so far out of natural perspective that you have to retreat into your incomprehensible God and basically say- "I know this, but I really dont know this"!

I realize you believe that God could do no wrong and therefore you must come up with or search for an answer which keeps God loving, merciful, etc.
You want to blame everything on so called demonic forces and devils.
But I think that is when your theology starts getting very confusing and jumbled even for a christian!
The problem also is that nature as well as the bible i think are in disagreement with you.

Cole said...

Hey Shane,

I see it as a bit of common sense that since God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge (making His ways the ways of infinite knowledge and His emotional life infinitely complex) and that I'm finite and limited in my understanding, that I'm not going to be able to completely grasp this Being. There are some things I know and some things I don't. Just as there are ways I'm to be like God and ways I'm not to be like God. It stands to reason that I can't be like God in every way. But I do have a confident trust that He will work out all things and turn them arround for good.

Let me give you an example:

Ways Im not like God:

God is perfect I'm not
God is all-knowing I'm not
God is all-powerful I'm not
God is infinite in wisdom I'm not
God's ways are infinitely Higher than my ways

Ways I'm to be like God:

Patient
Compassionate
Caring
Kind
Humble
Loving
Forgiving

I'm humbled in believing there's a God and I'm not like Him in every way.

Good talking to you buddy!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Shane --- in reference to your comments to Cole,

"You want to blame everything on so called demonic forces and devils."

Shane, there is a difference between assigning blame and pure acknowledgement of what exists. God does not assign blame but acknowledges the truth of what we experience in the natural but also offers the truth of God.

In reference to doctrines of demons and sons of hell -- these terms are used to reference those religious practices which alienate ppl from God --- that cause ppl to believe they must appease god in order to pacify his contempt and feelings of condemnation for humanity. Jesus acknowledged that such a being exists that causes ppl to relate to the divine in this manner, but it isn't God.

False religious doctrines are created on this basis of this demanding, condemning creature that perpetuates pride and cruel behavior.


Take care,
3M

shane said...

Cole and MMM.

Cole you said that "it is a bit of common sense that if God is infinite and you are not, that you would not be able to fully grasp His being"?

Yes, but it also common sense that if the biblical God does not exist and that is why no substantial evidence can be given of His existence, then anyone can just say "God is infinite this or infinite that", and making the biblical God impossible to refute because no one even knows what their talking about at this point!

This happens when the christian is confronted with a dilemma they cannot get around, their final argument is- "God is incomprehensible"- thus admitting they dont even no what they actually believe in themselves!

MMM.
You said " There is a difference between assigning blame and acknowledging what exists"?

You wrote this as if the existence of demons is FACTUAL. Can you please tell me how it is FACT that demons exist?

Also, I find it almost laughable when believers tell us that God is the GREAT DESIGNER of all life as well as the universe, but then they exempt their God from all blame and all evils that exist!

You guys rule out natural causes and natural selection and say "nope, there is a creator".
But then when we see the savagery that exists in the so called creation, animals killing eachother for pure survival, you christains deny that the GREAT CREATOR had anything to do with it, instead you imagine unseen demonic forces as the cause or blame mankind.

And according to the bible old and new, we are commanded to appease God or suffer the consequences!
We are commanded to hate our own earthly lives or else.
-commanded to turn our backs on our loved one's if they believe something different.
-commanded to believe in something which God offers no realistic reason to believe in.
-commanded to be faithful unto death or else.
-even commanded to slaughter women and children at one time.
How can you say God doesn't have to be appeased????

Cole said...

Hey Shane,

There's alot about evolution that we don't know. I dont think it can be all explained by natural selection. I go along with the agnostic biologist Michael Denton in his book "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe" that evolution is being guided by some "unknown mechinisms"

Not that natural selection doesn't take place but it CERTAINLY doesn't explain everything.

shane said...

Cole.

Thats right it doesn't explain everything.
I for one am agnostic to the concept of there being a creator or creating force of some kind, and I dont think any of our scientific discoveries answer some of the biggest questions, but I also dont think any religious belief we possess answers any those questions logically or intelligently.

If anything I believe religion holds us back and impedes our finding answers.

I know you dont think christianity is man made, but there is absolutely nothing in the bible whether its the information contained in it, how it was written, when it was written, the claims it makes, nothing that compels me to believe it is of divine origin rather then the minds of simple men!

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Pain is a normal universal physical strait.

Anyone who has ever used a hornet or warps spray (such as Raid) on their nests and stayed around to watch can testify than these insects are not facing a normal death from old age, but are writhing in severe pain as they die with their six legs griping each other, their mouths often biting their legs and finally dying with their stingers out trying to sting a chemical poison causing their horrible pain!

By comparison, the ONLY things that do not feel pain are all the gods of religion created by the human mind.

Cole said...

Shane,

I think God is the best (available) explanation for alot of things in living systems as well as the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origins of life and a whole host of other things. But being the best (available) explanation isn't sufficient to render it a fact. Future discoveries could overthrow it. Until then I will continue on in believing.

shane said...

Cole.

If God is the best answer, then when we consider the amount of suffering and cruelty there is in this existence, what should a person construe from that fact when considering the character of God?

Also, what constitutes the biblical God the best available answer rather then the Islamic God, Hindu God, or any religions God?

Also, if the biblical God were the best answer, then what constitutes as the truthful understanding of the biblical God when considering Judaism, christianity, mormonism, Jehovah's witness, and so on?

Cole said...

Shane,

I already dealt with suffering. Even if I haven't I think when looking at the TOTAL evidence Theism is SOMEWHAT more likely than not to be true. This doesn't make it a fact. I think the life and teachings of Christ are more in line with reality than other religions. I can't decide between the denominations within Christianity though. I no longer belong to a denomination.

shane said...

Cole.

I dont no, I cant say much about whether there is a creating force of some kind since I have no actual standing on this subject, but I dont see someone rising from the dead and performing miracles in touch with any known reality.

But if your right and Theism is the best answer, then it only raises the question- "what is the best answer for Gods existence"?

Surely if God best explains the existence of living systems and the origin of the universe, then God being even more complex must need an origin?
If the universe cannot exist on its own with all its fine tuning, and apparent design, then how can God exist independent of a higher source?

This is not a challenging question but I wondered what your take on it was?

Cole said...

Shane,

The way I see it is that God is eternal and exists necessarily and therefore doesn't require an outside source to explain His existence. HE IS. I AM.

shane said...

Cole.

Ya I figured that was going to be your answer, its one of the more brilliant christian concepts.

The only problem is that christains continuously say that "everything has to come from somewhere" and "something cant come from nothing"
which kinda contradicts this theology.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

I am convinced that the Cardinal (that feeds at my bird feed everyday) created the world. Plus, I have prayed to this bird for money and happiness, and (guess what) he gave me my wishes.

This Cardinal creating the world and the universe makes perfect sense to me as no can prove this bird didn’t do it.

Anyway, if you think about it, this Cardinal has never been proven not to have created everything. And, while religion talks about some unproven and unseen mystical God who exist only by faith, I can see this real Cardinal and he has actually talked with me personally!

Cole said...

Shane,

I would say every finite and contingent thing has to come from somewhere. God's not finite and contingent like our universe and therefore requires no outside source to explain His existence. He's the great I AM.

shane said...

Cole.

Based on what you said here can you define your God?

If you cant define Him then you obviously dont know what you believe in!

What exactly does it mean to say that "God is not finite or contingent"?....Can you define a being like that?
Can you tell me what it would be like to meet him?

You see, when it comes down to christians retreating into their incomprehensible God, they themselves must admit that "THEY DO NOT KNOW GOD"!

At this point we can safely and justly disregard all you christian claims to truths, tenents, and understandings!

Cole said...

Hey Shane,

I already gave you a few attributes above. God is eternal and exists necessarily. He's morally perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful, patient, kind, humble, whose ways are infinitely higher than our ways. This is just to name a few.

What is it like to meet Jesus?

Well, For me conversion is a healing of the affection. It is when I develope a loving attraction to the beauties of Christ in His humility and holiness. Just as He put God first in His life I do the same. I have a throbbing, yearning, desire for Christ. It is erotic. It's a powerful desire for union with Christ. It comes in different degrees and intensity. It's like a romantic attraction to holiness. A passionate desire for union with Christ. It's like when I was in love with my first love and I gazed upon her beauty and it intoxicated me with a warm love. I want to be absorbed with Christ. To become part of Him and to have His beauty become part of my soul. It's an erotic love for holiness that percieves, desires, and enjoys union with Someone of supreme value and worth. I want to drink in this spiritual beauty and treasure it and enjoy it forever. I love it more than anything. To put it another way, I worship it.

shane said...

Cole.

You see this is where your theology runs into contradiction, your saying God is all powerful, all knowing, eternal....etc.
Here you are discribing God as having limitless attributes!

Yet, you say God is merciful, patient, kind, humble!
Here you are limiting Gods power

By saying God has the characteristic of mercy, you are in effect saying God lacks the characteristic of non-mercy.

Or if you say, God can be characterized as being kind, then you are saying in effect, God cannot be characterized as unkind!

One way or another you are ascribing limited attributes to a suppossed limitless being, this is a contradiction in terms!

To say God is all powerful, but also say He lacks the characteristics of non-mercy and unkindness, then you are wrong, because an all powerful being would consist in having all abilities!

Also, you said Gods ways are higher then ours?
So are you saying that Gods mercy is a mercy with which we cannot identify?

Is Gods patients a patients with which we are not aquianted with?
Is Gods kindness a kindness which we are not accustomed to?

If so, then you are nowhere closer to knowing your God then you were when i sent the last post!

shane said...

Cole.

As far as your experiences with Christ I cannot go into much discussion about that since these are not empirical things I can discuss!

But I can say that your own personnal experiences as you describe them is something I did not experience as a believer, and they are no more a witness to the truthfulness of christianity then someone telling me they seen a leprachuan one time!

Cole said...

Shane,

There are ways I'm to be like God and ways I'm not. I can't be like God in every way. Yes, He's eternal and His mercy endures forever. I don't want to repeat myself so go back and reread what I said above about ways I'm to be like God and ways I'm not like God. He has revealed some things but some things He hasn't. The secret things belong to the Lord. Christ gave us an example on how we are to live in His humility and holiness. By removing God's wrath from my vision at the cross I can now gaze at and behold His spiritual beauty.

shane said...

Cole.

Like I said, if your telling me there are characteristics of God that we can know and identify with, then at least some of His ways are not higher then ours!

If you are to be merciful like He is, then His mercy is no higher then human mercy.
If you are to be patient like He is patient, then His patients is no higher then human patients.

I see you did not respond to my comments of the contradictory nature of God according to christianity.

In order for God to be all powerful He must possess all goodness as well as all evil.
Yet the bible says there is no evil in God?
Therefore God must be a limited being (according to the bible).

If God is to be all powerful then He cannot be morally perfect because He must possess all evil as well.
If God is to be morally perfect, then He cannot be all powerful!

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Shane wrote, "In order for God to be all powerful He must possess all goodness as well as all evil."

See, here is where God varies from us -- in our terms and definition of "goodness".

Scripturally speaking, in the parable of the widow approaching an uncaring judge for justice against those who mistreated her, Jesus affirms that God cares about justice as we do, but He also asks, "When I return, who will have faith?". So pursuing justice is natural, but faith is a divinely inspired goal in which both the victim and the victimizer are set free from their roles. That is the ultimate justice because most victimizers began as victims themselves.

So it is that our definition of "good" is often superficial and limited.

ttyl,
3M

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Shane also wrote this about "most Christians",

""THEY DO NOT KNOW GOD"!

Well in some regards, I would have to agree, being one that is in the process of getting acquainted with God, but Jesus already acknowledges and gives allowances for variations in faith maturation/levels of knowledge/friendship. That is by His grace. He says He has just a few "friends" and that there are those who know what He is up to but
not everyone is God's best friend or has to know exactly what He's up to - that isn't a demand or expectation that He sets.

I know that being enlightened about the difference between Godly and worldly authority/power has given me the ability to be set free from being impressed or subjugated by egotistical persons and pursuits, including morally conceited religious ppl. Jesus is setting me free from appeasing those who are building their own ego as a coping mechanism for life's hurts. So while I've been hurt by these types, I am also beginning to feel sad on their behalf too.

bye,
3M

shane said...

MMM.

I think you didn't quite understand my last two posts.

I said that on one hand christians say God is all powerful, all knowing, etc.... in this way christians say God has limitless attributes.

On the other hand, they say some of Gods attributes are mercy, kindess, patients, etc....

These are two incompatible theologies.
I gave examples such as, if mercy is one of Gods limitless characteristics, then God lacks non-mercy as a characteristic.
Basically if God Has characteristic- A- then He lacks characteristic- not A-.

In this way God does not possess all power because an all powerful being would possess both characteristic- A - and- not A.

All im saying about christians not knowing God is that, if God is an incomprehensible being to us, then He cannot be known by us!
We cannot percieve who or what God is.

Therefore, since no christian can define the being of God, then no christian can know who are what they actually believe in and worship!!!!
You christians worship an unknowable.

Cole said...

Shane,

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. God has negative properties such as infinity but He's also loving. Being loving is a positive property. There's negative knowledge and positive knowledge. I don't worship an unknowable X but I worship God as He is revealed in Christ and His teachings. I also don't think I know everything about God and I never will because He is infinite and I'm finite. All I know is what God has chosen to reveal to me. I will always be learning.

shane said...

Cole.

Nevermind....lol

Rob R said...

What about infant children that die? Do they experience moral outrage at their pain or existential anxiety about impending death? Or the severely retarded?

They are part of a species that recognizes their worth or is capable of doing so. OF course you may suggest that many people also recognize equal worth in animals, and that kind of moral and existential confusion that compares the worth of an animal to an infant or mentally retarded person is exactly to be expected when we deny God.