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Old 09-30-2011, 06:06 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,149,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
Not just blasphemous, but hateful and vile as well.
I assume you're referring to those nasty little kids poking fun at Angela.
I agree - kids can be so cruel.

Well, thank God we have a God who set the laws of the Universe in motion, and at the request of a pious individual is willing to break all those laws. Ain't prayer great? It's like saying "God, the situation just ain't good enough and your foresight was a little off...well, can you do the opposite of what is happening? Thank you, God. Amen."
Voila: prayer request submitted, natural laws of cause and effect diverted, prayer answered.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,244,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
Not just blasphemous, but hateful and vile as well.
A certain kind of "hipster atheism" seems to pretty much revolve around snark and mockery. Possibly they don't realize it makes them look immature as much as it does anything. Although it's also possible they don't care or that they have little else to offer.

Still it's interesting that much of it leans toward the idea that life sucks. I guess this is the "problem of evil" notion, but you can take God out of the equation and it wouldn't make "life sucks" that much better. Considering Haitians tend to be religious it could even add to it. Along with "life sucks" you can add "And there's no God going to send your earthquake dead to a better place, you're just people who had a miserable life then oblivion because you're in a lousy nation. So basically sucks to be you." (Because on the dead there's really nothing even charity or action can do. From an atheist perspective the dead are gone. The Haitian dead weren't fortunate, the way most atheists outside China are, of being born in advanced nations where they could have long happy lives before oblivion)
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
2,705 posts, read 2,506,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
A certain kind of "hipster atheism" seems to pretty much revolve around snark and mockery. Possibly they don't realize it makes them look immature as much as it does anything. Although it's also possible they don't care or that they have little else to offer.

Still it's interesting that much of it leans toward the idea that life sucks. I guess this is the "problem of evil" notion, but you can take God out of the equation and it wouldn't make "life sucks" that much better. Considering Haitians tend to be religious it could even add to it. Along with "life sucks" you can add "And there's no God going to send your earthquake dead to a better place, you're just people who had a miserable life then oblivion because you're in a lousy nation. So basically sucks to be you." (Because on the dead there's really nothing even charity or action can do. From an atheist perspective the dead are gone. The Haitian dead weren't fortunate, the way most atheists outside China are, of being born in advanced nations where they could have long happy lives before oblivion)
You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake, you are the same organic decaying matter as everything else."

--Tyler Durden
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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Unfortunately, mankind has been dealing with the idea of fickle deities longer than snarky atheists have. The problems of theodicy should be sufficiently well-known that I do not have to start enumerating them here.

The problem was easier when henotheism was the dominant religious belief - you could always blame the misfortunes of other peoples on that people's god. Even in the so-called Babylonion Theodicy the problem revolves around suffering as being deserved, whether the sufferer is aware of the sin or not. Only with the help of the individual's intermediary deity can total disaster sometimes be averted, and the higher gods propitiated through the intercessions of the 'personal deity'. A later evolution was the Deuteronomic teachings, in which good behavior is evident in someone's life, while bad behavior explains why they are punished in this life. There's no aspect of a future redeeming justic. "My vindicator", as Job puts it, does not exist yet.

Once the concept of henotheism started giving rise to monotheism, problems immediately arose with the Deuteronomic theology. Now problems could no longer be dumped on another god or deity, but it had to be admitted that everything (even evil) came from the one true god. The problem of innocent suffering then rears it's ugly head even more. The Book of Job wrestles with this question in the famous line where he asks, concerning the existence of evil and punishment of the innocent: "If not from Him, then from whom?" In a monotheism, that becomes a rhetorical question. Ecclesiastes also takes issues with the Deuteronomic idea of "If you do good, good things will happen. If you do bad, bad things will happen." Remember, in Job - it is not Job who is chastised for speaking wrongly of God, it is his friends who were espousing traditional Deuteronomic teachings concerning reward and punishment who are chastised for making excuses for God's behavior.

Later apocalyptists made great advances when they started placing the blame on evil fallen deities, evil dual-deities, or evil dual-natures of the one true god. Suffering could be explained as temporary, and the result of evil forces, with the end-times bringing justice to all in a resurrection. Gnostics took this a step further and just said "Of course there's suffering - that's how the world works, because the world was created by an evil being".

So, you may dismiss certain comments as just being Atheist-driven crap, but it has occupied the minds of believers for thousands of years, across many religions. After all - if one discards the idea of a all-good and all-powerful god (as an atheist would do) - there would be no problem with theodicy at all...
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I'm aware it exists, for some at least, as an intellectual problem. Although I admit it's rarely or never been one that registered much for me. I lean toward the idea, even if maybe a bit heterodox, that God's intervention is limited. That evil comes from a Fallen World, to give a goal of self-improvement, or what have you.

None of this says much about silly cartoons. Also taking out the "intellectual problem" element doesn't change much on the ground. Innocent people suffer because tectonic plates work that way. Nature is not just or moral. We live in a Universe that has no inherent morality and is indifferent to us. It is arrogant to believe that in a Universe billions of light years in size, and billions of years in age, any grand thing cares a whit for some short-lived creatures on a planet that's less than .1 light-seconds across. Innocent Haitian children ceased to exist due to the earthquake while Baby Doc Duvalier, until 2011, lived okay in France because that's life sometimes. And I guess this is a better way to view life because hey at least you don't have any paradoxes?
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
2,705 posts, read 2,506,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
I'm aware it exists, for some at least, as an intellectual problem. Although I admit it's rarely or never been one that registered much for me. I lean toward the idea, even if maybe a bit heterodox, that God's intervention is limited. That evil comes from a Fallen World, to give a goal of self-improvement, or what have you.

None of this says much about silly cartoons. Also taking out the "intellectual problem" element doesn't change much on the ground. Innocent people suffer because tectonic plates work that way. Nature is not just or moral. We live in a Universe that has no inherent morality and is indifferent to us. It is arrogant to believe that in a Universe billions of light years in size, and billions of years in age, any grand thing cares a whit for some short-lived creatures on a planet that's less than .1 light-seconds across. Innocent Haitian children ceased to exist due to the earthquake while Baby Doc Duvalier, until 2011, lived okay in France because that's life sometimes. And I guess this is a better way to view life because hey at least you don't have any paradoxes?
Nihilism is a lot simpler than any religion or philosophy out there, in that morality causes no headaches or heartaches.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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Yes indeed - to both of you above.

Many religious people have lost their faith over the issue of theodicy, based on polls and statistics and all that jazz - and that's understandable from a certain point of view: if you believe God is all good, yet you see evil go unpunished, and the good suffer - then it becomes increasingly difficult to believe in the idea that God is still Good. The other option that has become increasinly popular (and was especially popular among apocalpytisists) was to reserve such things until after death:

"This evil person died in bed, surrounded by his family, wealthy, etc. It only looks like he escaped punishment. NOW he's being punished - after life has ended."

This is not exactly reassuring - since it places justice on a plane of existence that cannot be examined or confirmed.


In the end - it's easier to claim that God does not have a full hand in existence, and the normal laws of cause and effect still apply. Suffering is a natural byproduct of existence, and it is not the punishment of an angry deity: that can solve the issue. This doesn't mean it's correct - it just means it get's God off of the hook in a much better way than traditionally attempted.

The Book of Job is one of the most fascinating in the Bible. If anyone hasn't read it and studied it (and I DO mean the poetic section - don't just skip it and read the prologue and epilogue - these seem to be a paltry attempt to once again - get God and Job off of the hook): get on it! Please...

Last edited by whoppers; 10-03-2011 at 05:22 AM.. Reason: Spelling - still not sure I got that word right. Dang it... Apocalyptisistiwhatchmacallit.....
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