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Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
#1
Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
So, what do you guys here think, is comparing theism with Flat-Earthism valid?
In my latest YouTube video about atheism, I compared some arguments made by theists with some arguments made by Flat-Earthers.
According to me, saying evil in the world is caused by free will is similar to saying ships disappearing bottom first is caused by waves. You can (and should) explain some instances of ships disappearing bottom first with waves, but obviously ships disappear bottom first even when there are no waves. Similarly, you can (and should) explain some instances of evil in the world as a result of free will. Holocaust was a result of people wanting Holocaust to happen and acting to achieve that. But, obviously, some evil in the world cannot be explained that way. Earthquakes being one of the most obvious examples.
Also, according to me, the dialectological argument, "If there is no God, why does the universe behave logically?", is similar to the Flat-Earthers using the horizon appearing to rise with you as you climb as an argument that the Earth is flat. Let's say there is a God, how does a God explain the universe behaving logically? It doesn't. In fact, if there is a God, we would expect actions not to have unintended bad consequences, but they do. Similarly with the horizon appearing to rise with you as you climb. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the theory that the Earth is round cannot explain it (it can, but let us pretend it cannot). So what? How does the Earth being flat explain that? It does not either: if the Earth was flat, we would expect there to be no horizon in the first place.
I was wondering what you think?
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#2
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
Malarkey comes in many flavors.
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#3
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
Believing something without evidence tends to be a problem that gullible people have no problem in doing.
Insanity - Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result
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#4
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
@FlatAssembler

I think it's a very good comparison in the narrow sense of silly people believing in silly things for silly reasons, but not so much in a broader sense of people being shunned or punished for not accepting Flat Earthism.

I'd like to address your point about earthquakes, though. The difference between an earthquake and the Holocaust - in a moral sense - has been referred to as 'natural evil' vs 'moral evil'. The difference is that an instance of natural evil, like an earthquake, doesn't require a moral agent, while moral evil (for obvious reasons) does.

This has been called into question by some philosophers.  The reasoning runs something like, 'If God created, is in charge of, sustains, and operates the universe, then acts of so-called 'natural evil' do indeed have a moral agent (God) who causes them. Therefore, ALL evil is moral evil and natural evil does not exist'. The argument is fraught with problems - mostly definitional - but interesting all the same.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#5
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
(November 30, 2020 at 4:55 am)Rahn127 Wrote: Believing something without evidence tends to be a problem that gullible people have no problem in doing.

There's no effort involved.
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#6
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
(November 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm)FlatAssembler Wrote: So, what do you guys here think, is comparing theism with Flat-Earthism valid?
In my latest YouTube video about atheism, I compared some arguments made by theists with some arguments made by Flat-Earthers.
According to me, saying evil in the world is caused by free will is similar to saying ships disappearing bottom first is caused by waves. You can (and should) explain some instances of ships disappearing bottom first with waves, but obviously ships disappear bottom first even when there are no waves. Similarly, you can (and should) explain some instances of evil in the world as a result of free will. Holocaust was a result of people wanting Holocaust to happen and acting to achieve that. But, obviously, some evil in the world cannot be explained that way. Earthquakes being one of the most obvious examples.
Also, according to me, the dialectological argument, "If there is no God, why does the universe behave logically?", is similar to the Flat-Earthers using the horizon appearing to rise with you as you climb as an argument that the Earth is flat. Let's say there is a God, how does a God explain the universe behaving logically? It doesn't. In fact, if there is a God, we would expect actions not to have unintended bad consequences, but they do. Similarly with the horizon appearing to rise with you as you climb. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the theory that the Earth is round cannot explain it (it can, but let us pretend it cannot). So what? How does the Earth being flat explain that? It does not either: if the Earth was flat, we would expect there to be no horizon in the first place.
I was wondering what you think?

Hi, I'm a newbie here, so please be patient while I sort out the personalities here.  I like to comment on questions like this because skepticism is a favorite topic of mine.

I consider the two to be similar in that both arise from beliefs with no evidence.  Flat-Eartherism is orders of magnitude more simplistic and easy to prove incorrect because of all the evidence we have to dismiss it.  It's nearly impossible for an educated person to even take the question seriously, but I know from friends in the school system that there are teachers out there who are absolutely flat-earthers, so the concept does infect quite a lot of people.  Sad to know.

Theism, however; is far more complex a question.  There is still no evidence, but there's enough doubt and the idea is vast enough to at least take it seriously, even consider it undecided.

I think your horizon line of thinking is valid and certainly would be consistent regardless of the shape of the planet.  The problem with a flat earth is that it creates many other problems for the claimant.  If the earth is flat, then you must then do more work to explain gravity, the motion of the earth, moon & possibly the sun.  You must work very hard to explain seasonal temperature changes and a whole host of geologic issues.  Basically, when you go down this path you just dig yourself in to a giant hole.  That isn't really the case for theism because we know that most theistic systems can be internally logical even if they can't demonstrate evidence.  Non-theists can always imagine arguments that challenge the logical ramifications of theism, but gods, being what they are, can do anything by definition, so it's nearly impossible to penetrate them with logic alone.

I tend to avoid characterizing natural events like earthquakes or floods as evil or good because not even Christians claim that the earth itself has volition.  Minus humans, floods are just weather and earthquakes are just geologic events.  They only appear to be evil when people die because of the damage they cause.  It's often our own foolishness that is the cause, such as when people build cities on the Florida coastline.  Humans have known for centuries that hurricanes randomly form and cause tremendous destruction.  Choosing to build a city on the shore is the evil act, not the hurricane.  The real question you're asking here is why a god would choose to punish evildoers so randomly.  That sets no precedent and thus would never lead an evildoer to conclude that punishment follows evil deeds.  People try to get other people to make this connection using laws although our success is questionable.  We even sometimes try to speak for god on this matter, such as the Byzantine Emperors who declared all sorts of deeds to be against god's nature and thus would cause god to punish the people of the empire, but neverminded the fact that those same Emperors maimed and even killed their own relatives just to protect their power.  The simple answer is that this idea of Freewill is merely convenient for Christians because god can pick and choose when he want to punish people.  Which in my mind just makes it a logical fallacy.

On a side note, I find dismissing the validity of Christianity pretty easy by simply knowing and understanding its history.  Much of what Christians claim can be easily challenged and often demonstrated as contradictory or at least morally questionable if you examine the messy history behind the religion.  Growing up Baptist, I can say that none of that history was made available to me when I was young and in fact I was told things that can be demonstrated as outright fiction or highly questionable at least, which is my primary reason for rejecting it.
Why is it so?
~Julius Sumner Miller
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#7
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
In a christian world view there are no natural events. Everything is caused and controlled by god, except the humans who have free will (loophole).

In this world view earthquakes and floods can be seen as evil acts because they harm the well being of humans.
Insanity - Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result
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#8
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
(December 1, 2020 at 12:10 am)Rahn127 Wrote: In a christian world view there are no natural events. Everything is caused and controlled by god, except the humans who have free will (loophole).

In this world view earthquakes and floods can be seen as evil acts because they harm the well being of humans.

I'm sure this is a common argument, but it's rather comical and easily demonstrated to be unlikely.  If a hurricane destroyed a beach with no city, would there be a hurricane?  Yes, there are natural events that harm no one.
Why is it so?
~Julius Sumner Miller
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#9
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
Gods just practicing on all our furry little friends. Like serial killers with cats and dogs or what have you. Or maybe it's a warning shot for too much homosexing? The point is that even though christians don't believe that the earth has volition - they believe that the god who is in charge of and responsible for everything on the earth does - and that makes him a moral agent and the destruction of any life, not just human life, and in fact the destruction of the environment itself..is a situation of moral import.

Christians believe that the only state of affairs which could turn a hurricane into a moral evil, is the true state of affairs in this world, righteously decided by the very god who wields those same forces. It's a ridiculous idea, sure...but when has that ever stopped the superstitious?

I noticed in an earlier reply that there was the suggestion that people are to blame, for putting their houses too close to water, for the misery of flooded houses. Well - that's not quite right either. For all of human history and prehistory we've lived in a small strip on the coasts. That's not for no reason - it's down the necessities of being human, a state which none of us chose - nor did we choose the general state of human beings which makes it inevitable. Just like eating and breathing out of the same whole. Choking and drowning are, thus, inflicted miseries. We have no choice but to do the thing that kills us, and those things are part of the design or plan, and subject to the control of the designer or planner...and all of it..absolutely all of it, the whole chain of moral responsibility - terminates with the author of each and every one of these states of affairs. None of us could be more than part time collaborators with the creator of pain - the creator of misery - the ultimate source of all harm.
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#10
RE: Comparing Theism with Flat-Earthism
Basic tenet.  Right?

[Image: OTcosmos.jpg]
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