Wednesday 25 February 2015

Is bone cancer in children proof there's no God?

Some Skepticule Facebook group regulars have been involved in this ongoing thread, started by Anonymous Steve and based on the recent YouTube clip (see link below) of Stephen Fry telling Gay Byrne what he would say to God.

This video of Stephen Fry giving an excellent version of the problem of evil is doing the rounds. But I think he is wrong.
He is confronted with "what if you're wrong, what do you say to God?"
If, as I think is implicit, this is the all knowing, all loving, all powerful GOD, who was able to create a world of free will and no evil called "heaven", then I contest that Stephen Fry is not able to conceive of what he would say to this maniac.
Because I contend that it is impossible to conceive of a perfect cube without any straight sides or right angles.
Am I wrong?

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  • Ed Atkinson I find your post confusing. If you changed the word 'maniac' to 'loving God' then it would all make sense.

    With that change, then our hero would probably be spechless before God like Job at the end of that book. Stephen Fry's answer made better telly, tho', you'll have to agree.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I think you might be missing the point - the point where "maniac" only really makes sense.

    This all loving, all knowing, all powerful god could have made a world without Mr Fry's parasites.

    The excuse of free will does not follow, for Heaven, we are told, has free will and no evil.

    Hence, someone who does something impossible, not scientifically but logically, is something we cannot conceive, like a square circle, or a non-angular cube.

    My point is that the god as described is impossible. Logically. How can one predict how someone will respond in the presence of a totally impossible, absolutely inconceivable, could-not-happen, situation?
  • Ed Atkinson OK I did completely misunderstand.

    I thought you were going with skeptical theism, which is where Christians who think about this clearly have to end up.

    Justin Schieber of RD has more arguments against Skeptical theism (or rather its implications), eg in this debate

    My understanding that by adopting skeptical theism, the Christian avoids the logical problem you propose, but there are negative impacts. This is something I am very interested in at the moment, so a critique on the logical side of this (at least) would be great.

    Skeptical theism is a view taken in response to the evidential problem of evil in the philosophy of religion. Skeptical theists accept that God exists and that we can know general truths about God but denies that in any particular case we can know the reasons for God acting in a particular way.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit Ok, I can't look at all that now, but I will try to. For now, I think the only logical answer to the problem, for the theist, ends up concluding that there is no heaven (and god cannot make a world without pain and/or free will).

    Obviously this is a
    big concession. We all, I think, accept the possibility of the "great programmer" who kicked off the universe. Even though this seems unlikely to me, it is not *inconceivable*, which was my key point. But once we degrade to deism, none of it (the prayer, the praising, the flood, the book, the priests, the dogma) has any value. Indeed, arguably that all becomes pointless once we either accept evil in heaven, or lack of free will in heaven.

    I guess an afterlife as flawed as this-life is, is acceptable - in fact the psychological ability to project the sense-of-self into the future is something we all crave. As a psychologist I see this as both attractive, and indeed so attractive that the ubiquitous gods and heavens across cultures seems completely unsurprising to me.
  • Paul S Jenkins Given who asked Stephen Fry what he would say to God, I think his answer was right on the button. It doesn't matter that the omni-whatever God is incoherent (and therefore, as you say, inconceivable), because Gaybo's viewers aren't interested in the incoherence and/or inconceivability of their God. They believe in it despite its incoherence, and Stephen Fry's instant rejoinder, "Bone cancer in children? What's that about?" is exactly the type of response they need to hear.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit That's fair, I wasn't really wanting to appear criticising of Fry's comment, as I said in the OP it was " excellent version of the problem of evil", I was just wanting to take it further in this intellectual context, not in the context of Gayboland, where it was absolutely the right thing to say.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit Ed Atkinson - you might find episode 112 of this quite interesting

    Podcast AS112: Justin Schieber Returns, Part 2! February 18, 2015 Thomas Smith Leave a comment It’s Justin Schieber, part 2! Justin Schieber is back for a discussion on apologetics! Justin is an accomplished debater, and a refreshingly clear thinker regarding apologetics. Justin gives the arguments…
  • Ed Atkinson Thanks, I have found it on iTunes and will listen soon. cheers Ed
  • Ed Atkinson TIG, thanks I thought the show was excellent and I really learnt from the discussion on how intelligent people take up or stay within theism. I was hoping that the topic of Skeptical theism would be taken up, but sadly not. Was it covered in part 1 (episode 111)?
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I can't actually remember, and I am a bit tied up right now. If you listen, let me know. I am afraid I find it very hard to spend time on a brand of theism that takes a god, and moves on to other skeptical approaches. I was on some podcast or other - I genuinely can't remember which, in which I said everything would be different if there was a god.

    You might find my contribution to the latest episode of Skepticule of interest. I was a bit surprised that the Paul's didn't discuss the words "why have you forsaken me". It seems to me that these are the problematic words, that invokes the problem of evil, and reference to the "stranded-man" canard.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit Simply, the problem of evil is the end of the argument, even if I were to accept the possibility of a god to be possible. It just wont do to say "ok, fair point, now lets talk about....". Ok, so there is the tiniest possibility of a deist universe kickstarter, or the Great Programmer. But so what? This kind of god is irrelevant, and unprovable (or disprovable). And what's the point of a god if he don't do owt?

    In fact, such a god cannot be even posited. Because a non-interventionist could not have provided the reason for his own reason-to-exist. By what process could such a god have made himself known, in order to be posited by more than a hypothetical.

    What is clear, is that the all-knowing-powerful-loving god cannot exist. And nor can any version of the God-of-the-bible without a considerable amount of editing - enough editing to make the bible entirely redundant.
  • David Ward Miller Interesting how the problem of evil keeps coming up as the final blow against the existence of an all omni God. I've never understood what is evil in a universe with an anonymous start and purposeless continuance and perhaps a collapse in oblivion. How is bone cancer in children evil? Shit happens. It's not evil. It just happens. To speak of evil seems to lend support the morality argument for God. As you have heard so often the words that Sartre attributed to Dostoyevsky, “If there is no God, then everything is permissible.” That includes everything that happens in the universe. Including bone cancer. Bone cancer is a good thing to limit over population.
    I can describe what happens, but I can make no absolute moral judgments. If I know I ought to do something about the problem of bone cancer isn’t just a description about the way the world is, it’s a truth about the way that the world ought to be. And there's nothing out in the mere physical world that makes for a moral truth, good or evil.
    Paul is right that an answer of childhood bone cancer is a persuasive one since the problem of evil is just as emotional as it is intellectual.
  • Paul S Jenkins "I've never understood what is evil in a universe with an anonymous start and purposeless continuance and perhaps a collapse in oblivion. How is bone cancer in children evil? Shit happens. It's not evil. It just happens."

    I pretty much agree with this. Bone cancer in children is only evil if there's an omni-whatever God in charge.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit This David Ward Miller is the point. For us there is no problem of evil. There is only a problem of evil if there is an omnigod. As there is not, no problem. The problem is for the theist not the atheist. The theist sees evil, but an omnigod. Oops. The atheist sees no evil (at least, that is MY atheist position) and no god, Notoops.
  • Ed Atkinson David, I often hear the idea that you put as "To speak of evil seems to lend support the morality argument for God" when us atheists raise the problem of evil. In fact you put it well. But I just don't see the problem because we are not raging at God so much as pointing out an inconsistency between what we are told is God's character and what we observe in the world. Could you speak to that, please?
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    Sure. Later.
    Out to brkfst with my babe now.
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    Pardon the tardy reply. Family emergency came up.

    I like the way you summarized how atheists use the problem of evil against God's existence without embracing the existence of evil:
    "we are not raging at God so much as pointing out an inconsistency between what we are told is God's character and what we observe in the world."

    Without rehashing human free will and a good creation of the world now fallen, I will focus on "God's character." Simply put, if God is omniscient and all-good, and in contrast, humanity is finite in wisdom/knowledge and far from all good, but born with an evil bent toward selfishness, then any judging if this perfect God by imperfect humanity is flawed from the get go.

    As CS Lewis put it in his campus article, God in the Dock, rather than seeing themselves as standing before an infinite all-wise God in judgment, today the finite-in-knowledge atheists places God on trial and acts as God's judge. God is in the dock, no longer on the bench.

    As the end of Romans chapter 11 puts it after addressing Gods election and human choice (a major theological paradox):
    "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'"

    This does not make belief in God unreasonable, just that a complete fathoming of Gods ways will inevitably be beyond us. "Come let us reason together" is a biblical invitation.

    God is never presented as acting capriciously in the Bible. For example, Noah's flood that drowns so many is due to "every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." We may judge God, but it would mean we knew better how to deal with world-wide chronic unprecedented wickedness.

    So God is always presented as acting with perfect balance of justice and mercy. We learn from God what is love, we do not make up our definition of love and then judge God as unloving. We look to the cross to understand that love about sacrifice and serving, not sensuality and sentimentality.
  • Paul S Jenkins As a theodicy, “ineffable God” is such a cop-out. Puny, feeble-minded humans think they can judge God, who’s ways are mysterious and unfathomable. Bone-cancer in children? It’s there for a reason, bitches!
  • There Isnogod Getoverit David Ward Miller your long answer to Ed's point, not mine, can be summed up more concisely by shouting "mysterious ways", and running away.

    I think dodging the problem is the standard way of dealing with my question, "Mysterious ways" answers are no
    more than dodges.

    However, it leaves you with an impossible cul de sac. You may now murder and rape with impunity - perhaps that rapy killy feeling you have is one of God's mysterious ways.

    How dare one criticise child rape? Clearly its not in the commandments because it is part of god's unaccountable plan,

    The problem for the theist is more than that though. If there was a war in heaven, how the hell do you know if the good guy won?

    Paul S Jenkins said, "cop out". But he's wrong, we can see more than that. Its a cowardly and childish cop out, that leaves the door open for the worst of nutters to do the worst of things, and it is a pathetic hand-wringing limp-wristed talk-to-the-hand representation of a cowardly pathetic and infantile belief system. We are no longer asked to turn the other cheek to war crime, we are REQUIRED to cower weakly and tremble with the impossibility of our own worst inclinations. For we have absolutely no way of distinguishing between good and evil. This, in itself tells us who won the battle in heaven. Only the bad guys could be so morally reprehensible as to deny any ability too apply moral reasoning.
  • Ed Atkinson David, I appreciate the thought out reply and I will address your thoughts, but you missed out on the point for which I wanted your response. Your original idea was that by raising God’s morality an atheist is agreeing to or strengthening the moral argument. My point was that this move is not valid because the atheist is just using Christian standards to assess God and is showing up an inconsistency in Christian beliefs. So do you agree with me? Was it mistaken to have said "To speak of evil seems to lend support the morality argument for God"?

    The defence you make is twofold. First man cannot judge God, but this pre-supposes that God is real and not just an idea, making your argument circular. Second, you retreat into skeptical theism which is mentioned in the 3rd comment on this thread and it has some very nasty consequences for the believer, and TIG has just covered a major one. I have some ready text to cut and paste here if you are not familiar with this skeptical theism.
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    What Xian standard are you using to judge God?
  • David Ward Miller Paul,
    Would you describe a world and humanity that in your thinking would offer compelling evidence that a good all-powerful infinite God worthy of worship existed?
  • Ed Atkinson David, Christians say God is good, loving, just, etc, His actions in creating a world of cancer in children speaks otherwise. To point this out is not conceding the moral argument for God, even slightly or partially. I may hold that morals are figments of imagination even, but I can still point out that inconsistency. That is my point.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I know what all the individual words mean, but for somehow that particular combination makes no sense to me at all
  • There Isnogod Getoverit not the last comment, the one before that
  • David Ward Miller TIG,
    Perhaps an analogy would help. Tell me how you would explain to a three-year old Fermat's Last Theorem. Seriously, try. Would that three-year old be correct in say that no solution exists? An infinite all-knowing God is far more bey
    ...See More
  • There Isnogod Getoverit on Ed's point, I can argue no egg can sit - that does not concede a humpty
  • There Isnogod Getoverit yes David it would, and that only illustrates how badly you miss the point
  • There Isnogod Getoverit if yes, there is no omnigod
  • There Isnogod Getoverit if not, then god is evil
  • There Isnogod Getoverit could god stop it?
    would god want it stopped?
    does god know it happens?

    QED no omnigod? end of
  • There Isnogod Getoverit theist replies, "but that's because of free will"
    atheist replies, "is there free will in heaven"
    you say "god made heaven"

    atheist says "so god can create places without evil, but with freewill"
    theist finds someone else to talk to
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    To say a good God created a bad world where kids get cancer is far from the Xian view of God and the creation. I'm sure you're aware of that.
    The world is a good creation now fallen. The evidence of a Creator is marred by that fallennes
    As I asked Paul, what kind of world would you say would offer compelling evidence of an all-omni God?
    Atheists say they judge God by his own standards of good and evil, but God sets the standards. One cannot say you are judging God as evil by his own definition.
    We may disagree with his judgments, like Noah's flood or cursing nature after the fall, but we cannot say God has incriminated himself by his own word. His word does not allow that.
    This is my take on it.
  • David Ward Miller TIG,
    I've already answered your "no free will in heaven" argument, so I'll not repeat it.
  • Ed Atkinson David, the first time I made that point you didn't answer it so I have now had to make it 3 times and still you are yet to respond. I guess you just agree with me that to point out the inconsistency is not conceding the moral argument for God.

    To say
    ...See More
  • Paul S Jenkins "Would you describe a world and humanity that in your thinking would offer compelling evidence that a good all-powerful infinite God worthy of worship existed?" Is there a missing "How" at the beginning of this, David? It doesn't make sense as it is.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit An argument doesn't become more compelling when the ashamed proponent avoids repeating it.
  • David Ward Miller I'll add "please" ha!

    "Would you please describe a world and humanity that in your thinking would offer compelling evidence that a good all-powerful infinite God worthy of worship existed?"
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I'll do it, no problem. Right after you tell me you were successful in pictureing what a round square looked like
  • There Isnogod Getoverit On the other hand, if I asked you to describe a godless universe, that would be easy. Although that, in itself, does not PROVE no god exists, comparing an impossible situation to one that is everyday, leaves one to conclude what? Oh yes, extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence. That's it. Do you have ANY evidence? Nope, just a contradictory book, easily explained.
  • Paul S Jenkins "Would you please describe a world and humanity that in your thinking would offer compelling evidence that a good all-powerful infinite God worthy of worship existed?" 

    I really don't think this can be done, in any way that makes sense. A good all-powerful infinite God is an incoherent concept, so the idea of a world in which such a thing existed is blatant nonsense. Just because English words can be strung together to make a grammatically correct sentence, doesn't mean that the sentence itself makes sense. I'm with Steve on this one.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit Paul S Jenkins - this is, I think, important. Some (some theists) think that if you can write it, you can imagine it. This exposes the myth of linguistic "evidence". Hence I can write "round square" easily. But that isn't even the start of imagining it.
  • Paul S Jenkins " can imagine it." And there we have the seed of the ontological argument. Leading to lots of stuff about a being that is maximally great and therefore existent rather than non-existent, because ... well, just because. So much guff.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I know its true, I read it in a book. Religious thinking, not always confined to the theist.
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    I will assume that since you had no answer to my explaining there is NO "inconsistency between what we [atheists] are told is God's character and what we observe in the world," that you agree with me, and that you totally and grossly misunderstood
    what God's character is (what you were told was wrong or you misunderstood).
    I don't really think you agree with me, but thought I would toss back at you your knowingly false assumption that I agree with you because you disagree with my post.
    Your premise is there is no God because there is evil in the world a good & great God would never allow. Not so.
    You say you get your idea of evil to judge God from the biblical standard of evil. Not so.
    You say cancer in kids is bad luck, and if a God, then God is bad, and a bad God cannot exist therefore there is no God. Not so.
    You define what good and evil is and you judge God, or dismiss him as non-existent. Not so.
    Hopefully you now see I disagree with your premise and conclusions.
    Please describe for me a world and humanity that would give evidence to an all omni God, of course removing the evil problem.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit "not so, not so, not so" What a nice clear line of argument. If one has nothing of substance to say, but still wants to hold one's ground, I guess "talk to the hand" is all one can say. It satisfies the speaker, but merely exposes the nakedness of the speaker, to the listener.
  • David Ward Miller Paul,
    I truly appreciate your reply, or shall I say, no need to reply, to my request to describe a world that would offer compelling evidence of an all-omni God.
    Nothing I have read from my atheist friends is more telling as to the atheists
    "A good all-powerful infinite God is an incoherent concept, so the idea of a world in which such a thing existed is blatant nonsense."
    You are a sincere highly intelligent well-studied man who cannot conceive of anything that would offer compelling evidence of the God I know, trust and love. Such a Being in your thoughtful mind is nonsensical and to be logically rejected a priori. There is no possible observable evidence for an all-good all-great infinite God.
    Perhaps all of our spirited atheist-theist interaction comes down to this. You see the universe, humanity and everything else on this earth and conclude there cannot possibly be a God, the very idea of theism is nonsense. I look at that same universe, humanity and everything else on the globe and conclude there must be a God, the very idea of atheism makes no sense.
    Yet, atheists convert to theism, and theists convert to atheism, so what is nonsense can radically change!
    Thanks for your thoughts , Paul.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit This is errant nonsense David Ward Miller - nobody I ever knew ruled out god a priori.
    You mistake a clear logically derived and coherent result of a calculation, with an initial condition.
    Atheism is the result, not the starting point.

    You, on the other hand, in this post, refuse to engage with argument, insist on stating facts without evidence, and then have the nerve to turn to atheism and claim lack of god as a priori!"
  • There Isnogod Getoverit It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit I think the lack of a response, David Ward Miller, is absolutely the best answer you can give. In the words of Douglas Adams "that about wraps it up for god"
  • Ed Atkinson David, "You say you get your idea of evil to judge God from the biblical standard of evil. Not so." (It is not quite the word's I'd use, but at least you understand the issue) This is the point I asked again and again and await your answer still. Why not so?
  • There Isnogod Getoverit In the latest episode of Skule, David Ward Miller was described as a troll. I actually think that is a compliment. After David Ward Miller accused me of criminal sexual conduct, refused to admit that the conduct he accused me of would be criminal even after I pasted the law back at him, he still refused to retract.

    Frankly, I lost all sympathy with, and respect for, him at that point. He's just lucky to be privileged to make such puerile accusations from the luxury of a different country from me.

    I used to imagine him as someone openly curious. Now I think he is a turd. But it is also a fact that he is a turd that dodges argument, makes bold pronouncements and argues with hypocrisy. I'm not sure what makes him lower in my estimation. The former, or the latter.

    But, whichever is the higher in my saliency, he still stands as both a cowardly turd, and an empty logical vessel, from where I sit.
  • David Ward Miller "What is clear, is that the all-knowing-powerful-loving god cannot exist. And nor can any version of the God-of-the-bible without a considerable amount of editing - enough editing to make the bible entirely redundant." TIG

    "What is clear, is that th
    e all-knowing-powerful-loving God can and does exist. And the God-of-the-bible is presented as such in a way making the infinite deity understandable, but not fully comprehendable , to finite humanity." DWM
  • There Isnogod Getoverit " dodges argument, makes bold pronouncements and argues with hypocrisy " QED
  • David Ward Miller Ed,
    Please show me where to get your idea of evil to judge God from the biblical standard of evil. I cannot address something that is not there. Since God defines what is good and evil and is presented as the sinless thrice holy God, I cannot see where you find God as evil.
  • David Ward Miller TIG,
    Since you cannot drop the wild false accusation that I falsely accused you of criminal sexual conduct, and you seem chronically angry and highly emotional, I will decline interaction with you. I wish you the best.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit Of course you will. And if you like I will screenshot where you did just that, and show you to be a liar as well.
  • Paul S Jenkins "Please show me where to get your idea of evil to judge God from the biblical standard of evil."

    Let’s take the commandment not to murder, or Jesus’s commandment to love your neighbour as yourself.

    It's the Bible's idea of evil that is being used to judge God, and God is found wanting. That's why the biblical God is incoherent. God cannot define what is good and evil at the same time as being "presented as the sinless thrice holy God." Just look at the evidence. Bone cancer in children? That's not nice. Retreating behind "mysterious ways" and ineffability simply doesn't cut it.

    An all-powerful God has the power, by definition, to put a stop to bone cancer in children, but doesn't. Alternatively an all powerful God has the power to make it clear why bone cancer in children is a necessary evil, but doesn't. An all-good God would want to stop bone cancer in children, or to make it clear why it's a necessary evil, but doesn't. An all-powerful, all-good God could do these things and would want to, or would at least want to (and would be able to) explain why such evil is "necessary”, but doesn’t.

    If it's simply a case of God telling us to ”Do as I say and not as I do," then this God isn't both all-powerful and all-good.

    But who are we to question the vast wisdom of an ineffable, all-knowing God who is so wise and knowledgeable that he would surely (in his all-lovingness) want his subjects to understand why he won’t put a stop to bone cancer in children, rather than letting us think he just doesn’t care?

    Well, I for one, and Stephen Fry for another.
  • David Ward Miller Paul & Ed,
    I've spoken to this before that the world that you propose does not allow choice that love demands and does not allow the fall. The reason I asked what world would offer evidence of an all good & all great God was to have what other atheists tell me is a global paradise of no evil, crime, bullying, sickness, suffering or even death. This is the heaven God promises in the Bible.
    The fall resulted in an unfair world. Bad things happen to good people. For Xians the crucifixion is the greatest injustice of the only perfect person dying nailed to a cross.
    The Bible teaches:
    1. Evil is real - the term is used over 400 times in the Bible.
    2. Evil is an intrusion - the good creation was "infected" by sin and so marred & corrupted at every level.
    3. Evil is necessary - for love to have choice & to make Gods attributes understandable.
    4. Evil is temporary - God will make it right & bring perfect justice, with a perfect redeemed new heaven & earth.
    We all feel the pain of this fallen unfair evil world only to different degrees.
    My brother after his first day of seminary in preparation for pastoral ministry was flagged through a construction zone where a huge truck was missed by the flag man & hit my brothers car broadside putting him in a coma for months and causing permanent brain damage to a brain that earned a perfect SAT score for college entrance. The rest of his life was of serious disability, no job, no driving, no marriage or family, no running (use of cane & wheelchair). I've officiated funerals for dear little children.
    Rather than causing me to see evidence there is no good-great God, I found God to be a source of comfort, peace and hope in all the tears.
    The same ugly suffering and evil brings us to opposite conclusions--atheism & theism.
    That's my take on the subject.
  • Paul S Jenkins ^^Bone cancer in children — therefore God. No, I don't buy it.
  • Ed Atkinson David you asked "Please show me where to get your idea of evil to judge God from the biblical standard of evil. " The answer is in the question - the biblical standard of evil
  • There Isnogod Getoverit David Ward Miller - Christians love to promote poverty, as disparity of wealth can legitimise the idea that some are better in god's eyes. Christians love poverty, because it encourages the idea of a better life in heaven. Christians love to hate gays, because it creates another division by which they can see themselves as better loved. Christians love to hate science, because it evidences the poverty of Christian understanding.

    Of course, in all these sweeping statements, none of these promotions are illegal.

    The accusation in the following post is in fact an accusation of criminal conduct, as opposed to those in the above.

    Why is this relevant to your additions to my post? Because your posts are evil, according to your own rules. There are multiple ways this is so, such as "first stone", "plank in eye", Commandment 9 - not to mention a plethora of bits of nonsense that Christianity has picked up on its way, in relation to how Christians should deal with other people.

    Hence, I judge you by your own (supposed) standards, not mine. And guess what? By doing the same with god we are not accepting his existence, we are showing that his existence is impossible. For any god that is as described by Christians COULD NOT conflict with his own standards. Therefore he does not exist. I think your continued effort not to understand this is probably just another existence of breach of #9 of the commandments.

    There Isnogod Getoverit's photo.
  • Paul S Jenkins If I promote the idea that it's advisable to lock your front door when you leave the house, would I be sneakily promoting burglary?
  • There Isnogod Getoverit No, but this case does not follow. The comparative would be promoting to people that they should break into houses and take stuff. But as far as I know, there is no specific law outlawing that, maybe accessory before the fact, but that's a bit skinny - no jury would convict.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit or perhaps you relate safe sex with a burglar avoiding device (lock). Yes, that would be a good metaphorical parallel. However, what I was responding to was not as measured a suggestion.
  • Paul S Jenkins Whereas "abstinence only" is equivalent to telling people they shouldn't leave the house.
  • David Ward Miller ^^Bone cancer in children — therefore God. No, I don't buy it.
    Bone cancer not evidence for God, agreed!
    I likewise say "Bone cancer in children — therefore no God. No, I don't buy it."

    Evil & suffering are not surface evidence for God, as it is set forth as a prime argument against an omni great-good God.
    At least on my part, after deeper reflection on what evil is and its evident presence points to a diminished good and an innate sense of good in humanity not in animals. It goes on from there, Paul.
    So I buy it.
    We both bought into this whole God/no god issue. It's expensive-- in a sense it costs us everything. So these discussions matter, and I appreciate what I learn.
    I get thrown the emotional-intellectual double-punches of the problem of evil often, and my dodging and counter argument punches, and enjoy the boxing. Learn in every round. Thx for putting on the debate gloves, Paul.
  • There Isnogod Getoverit To be clear, when one is talking about evil, or engaging in it, there is always a need to treat the other not as a thing, but as people. When the Christian says " Atheists love to promote the idea that 13 year olds are expected to have sex" they are not talking to a robot.

    The Christian does not know if the atheist has a sister who was forced to have sex at 13 by an adult Christian, for example.

    In my case, the theist does not know (or frankly care) how much of my professional life has involved helping those who were persuaded/forced to have sex when they were 13. And the theist has no understanding of how it has been the therapist's experience that this was mostly at the hands of adult male Christians.

    The other is just the evil atheist, who gives a shit what they feel about the matter? I can say what I like, its not as if they are proper people, is it?

    This has been done to Jews, Muslims, blacks, gypsy's, and about every group that you can think of. Its only when it is Christians that Christians give a shit. That's why I despise those of them that exhibit this revolting propensity.

This could run and run, and by now the thread has probably lengthened. If you're so inclined click here to see for yourself: