Comment #2722

Forum: God
yeroc
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On monkeys: Actually, some scientists do believe the universe could simply have existed forever in a completely atheistic manner. If being infinite can be an intrinsic property of God, I don't see why it can't be an intrinsic property of the universe. As for the monkeys hitting 's' a bunch of times, well... on the watch metaphor, didn't you say it was just an example and not to scrutinize such metaphors carefully? The same thing applies here, especially with the previously mentioned points about evolution and such.

I find the point about nature helping man unconvincing. What is mother nature helping us do? Survive? Why is it so hard to survive? As for mother nature being God's tool to punish man, I'm assuming you believe in some sort of omnibenevolent God (or maybe you don't, in which case my entire argument is moot), so I'd ask you this: Has a good person ever been harmed by a random act of nature? If God was omnibenevolent, I can accept that God would punish the wicked. But grouping humanity into a giant category and punishing random people because some of them are bad is not omnibenevolence. It's no better than racism, and the only way it's different from genocide is because it's not systematic or organized.

I do believe you did not make the point about God making man to regenerate and survive in this thread. Well, claiming that the world is perfect but not humans is like saying, "Mardek 3 is a perfect game, but the exploration bits are imperfect." They're a part of the game, and humans are part of the Earth. If we're imperfect, we bring the world down with us.

I also get the impression that we're talking about different kinds of chaos. I still hold that natural evils create more chaos than man; our actions have spared us from chaos such as carnivorous beasts (meaning we created order), while things like hurricanes and tornadoes run rampant (and create chaos). You seem to hold that man has created chaos. Some of us are murderers, yes, and we occasionally go to war, but what percentage of the human population died from natural evils in our caveman years as a result of natural evils as compared to the percentage of people who die now because of man-made evils? Obviously, there's no way to count. We have no written records of humanity's early days (though I once heard that we almost went extinct, and I'm pretty sure that's not because we had high murder rates), but I'm willing to wager our society has created a certain order that has saved lives.

And no, we could not have survived if dinosaurs existed, so why did God create them in the first place? Is he not omnipotent and omniscient? And why are the things that killed the dinosaurs still around? Doomsday scenarios still exist today.

Hmm, I realize I forgot to mention in my first post that I do agree with one of your points: that belief in a God holds society together. I suppose you are going a bit far in one direction, but I see it in a similar light to the ancient Chinese legalists: If I'm a craftsman and I want straight wood, do I wander around the forest until I have found wood that is naturally straight, enough for whatever I'm building? No, I'm a craftsman. My job is to make the wood straight. Essentially, I think some people would be good without God, just not enough. So, am I making the world a worse place by arguing against the existence of God? Perhaps. Or perhaps Mr. Mill is right and these beliefs are stronger when you have to deal with devil's advocates. I'm also a bit torn about whether or not the truth should be withheld in the name of pragmatism; that almost has a tyrannical ring to it. Oh, well.
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
My internet's acting on me. I spent a long time writing a reply.

Before anything worse happens, I'll just explain one thing, and I'll do the rest tomorrow (If God-willing, my mom lets me!)

Natural Evils have a purpose. They can kill evil, like I previously suggested, show God's power, or maybe even encourage moral growth by encouraging sympathy and allowing others to donate and help.

Hurricanes are important. The main advantage, indeed the function, of a hurricane is to transfer large amounts of excessive heat energy from the ocean into the atmosphere. Thus they serve to cool the tropical regions and limit global warming. In some cases they have been great drought-busters.

Floods bring silt and minerals needed for farming.

Earthquakes are needed to stop the land mass on the sea from sinking via erosion. Why can't He stop erosion? Because we need water. Also, for earthquakes to happen, we need the mantle, which produces a Will-Allen shield or whatever that stops radiation or something.

I read up some statistics on how many people died of Natural Evil in a year: 3.2%.

In the end, these Natural Evils support the way God works, i.e. they support mankind's survival, and tie in with the critical laws of physics that God doesn't bend. Thus depicting how planned-out everything was.
yeroc
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(Hmm, it feels rather awkward responding to a post when someone starts it by saying they didn't get their full argument out due to technical constraints. Oh, well)

Ahem! First off, on the percentage of people who die from natural evils... yes. That's my point. I'm arguing that human society has brought down the percentage of people who die from natural evils. I assure you, more than 3.2% of people were eaten alive by lions or died in some sort of storm in our caveman years. That just proves that human actions are more orderly than the actions of nature.

I'm not sure how many times I have to mention that nature helping us survive is irrelevant. Nature is the force we have to survive against. What you're essentially saying is that if someone tries to kill you, but throws you a knife so you can defend yourself, he's helping you survive. I suppose he technically is, but if this person were of a different nature you wouldn't need the help to survive. If God does exist, he had no reason to create nature in such a way that hurricanes, floods, etc, were necessary for the Earth to be a survivable place. God is omnipotent. Otherwise, he wouldn't be God. He can do anything. God can transfer excessive heat energy without hurricanes. God can give us farming minerals without floods. God can design nature so that this all happens automatically without catastrophes. That's what being omnipotent means.

You also mentioned that nature can evoke sympathy. As some have said, God could simply have designed us so that we were sympathetic by default; he had no reason to make us tabula rasa humans that need to watch other people die before we can become good people. Yes, I've heard the free will argument, but affecting our dispositions doesn't interfere with free will, especially if it's only done at birth. If dispositions are all there is to freedom, then given the massive number of dispositions that have been proven to be genetic, we wouldn't have free will anyways.

I'd also like you to explain why sympathy would be important in a world where we can't die. The reason sympathy's important in this world is because it's an excellent survival mechanism. Let us survive without sympathy, and it becomes an empty and hollow value.
Abbx
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Abbx 22 Pakistan SanguineMelancholic ENFJ 3w4 573C
I fail to get my point across.

I am really annoyed because I can't get to communicating the way I'm feeling towards others in the community :(

Anyway, things can't happen the way like you say, i.e. Nature would not be necessary for survival, and there should be no evil (random, natural or human) to evoke sympathy and regret, and we'd all be living perfectly happy lives in our corners of the world because God is great.

Would you rather we float in an empty black space or eternal void of nothingness, surviving and living happy lives? Because I bet if God had wanted to do that, He could've...
We'd have been perfectly happy without needing to be, I bet.
yeroc
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I do not mean to say that humans, as they are created, would be better off in some hedonistic paradise or some blank void in space where happiness is the only thing that exists (undoubtedly, some people would think that, but I'm not one of them). My point is that God made life, and, according to you, God designed things so that they would be orderly. If God designed things, he could've designed us in such a way that our lives could have meaning without the levels of suffering that are present in our universe (it is my opinion that life have meaning is a psychological rather than a metaphysical phenomena. I believe that this is consistent with your views, as any metaphysical meaning to life would be highly objective and we would undoubtedly be able to obtain it without the existence of suffering). I do believe that suffering has its role, but in an entirely Nietzschean sense: We are human, and, unlike God, we cannot do anything about that. Since it is our nature to "benefit" from suffering, we may as well accept this. The problem only occurs when one believes that our nature was designed, in which case we have reason to be resentful of the designer, implying a lack of benevolence in that being who created us.