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Current time: July 28, 2021, 1:27 pm

Poll: If There Were a God, Would You be Angry with Him?
This poll is closed.
No.
33.33%
3 33.33%
Yes, but only for not intervening against human evil.
0%
0 0%
Yes, because I believe natural evil exists & it ought not to.
55.56%
5 55.56%
None of the above, I would only be angry if this God upheld the immoral proscriptions of the Old Testament.
11.11%
1 11.11%
Total 9 vote(s) 100%
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Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
#1
Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
I noticed the user Catholic lady posted an OP asking how you would react if the Christian God showed himself to you & explained, with his divinely perfect logic, that he is moral. Some user said that that was a big 'what if,' but that they would immediately convert. But some others said they would still not accept him. I got the distinct impression that many, though by no means all, of the atheists respondents believe that the world is evil & that thus God would be evil. Many of the comments had an almost gnostic flavour to them, and it felt as though the commenters were gnostics that had lost their faith in a spiritual world.

We should distinguish, regardless of our personal beliefs on God, between natural and human evil. Natural evil is everything from the Onchocerca volvulus worm David Attenborough is fond of mentioning, to hurricanes, earthquakes and everything else not a product of men that harms us or causes us suffering. Human evil is whatever is unjust or wrong with our society or with an individual as a result of human action. Sometimes, as in the case of psychopathy, which is a mostly genetic, natural condition, the lines may be blurred a little. I should also say that I am coming from a pantheistic position; I don't believe in objective, natural evil; I believe that morality is an evolved instinct primates and possibly other social animals have to facilitate their cooperative evolutionary strategies. Morality serves an end; genetic survival. Nature, and God, are in my view, beyond good and evil. I understand some of the things I am criticising may be valid attacks on the Christian conception of God.


Many of the atheists in the thread seemed to think that God owed them something, or that the world should be without struggle, or that man should get to decide what God ought to do and not the other way around. Many people seemed to have a problem with authority in general, or to be narcissists. I think some atheists are angry at nature, and hate the world. They don't want there to be a God, because they want it to be true that, to quote Protagoras, 'Man is the measure of all things.' The idea of something higher than man, greater than man, offends their narcissism. For this fraction of atheists, atheism seems to be more a normative position than a descriptive one.
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#2
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
Him?

There is plenty in the universe greater than man, you feeble minded twit!
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#3
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
(March 5, 2021 at 5:13 am)SeaX Wrote: We should distinguish, regardless of our personal beliefs on God, between natural and human evil.

Wait?

So humans aren't natural now?  Thinking

I feel there's got to be a better way to distinguish between;

'Bad human sheet.'

and

'Bad sheet simply happens.'

Jus' sayin'.

Not at work.
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#4
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
(March 5, 2021 at 6:22 am)Peebo-Thuhlu Wrote:
(March 5, 2021 at 5:13 am)SeaX Wrote: We should distinguish, regardless of our personal beliefs on God, between natural and human evil.

Wait?

So humans aren't natural now?  Thinking

I feel there's got to be a better way to distinguish between;

'Bad human sheet.'

and

'Bad sheet simply happens.'

Jus' sayin'.

Not at work.

No, but there are problems created by men and problems outside our control.
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#5
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
Unless the Christian God could unwrite the Bible, I still wouldn't worship him even if he existed. The Christian God is undoubtedly evil. His own book condemns him. God is beneath what I consider to be a moral being.  Dodgy
"The world is my country; all of humanity are my brethren; and to do good deeds is my religion." (Thomas Paine)
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#6
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
Where's the fuck all polls option? Bad form!

I get that the angry atheists thing is evergreen - but it's probably more to do with your own apprehensions than the level of anger on the boards or in atheism at-large. Not that this would matter, even to you, since you don't believe in objective whatsits to condemn angry atheists by. OFC, people can have misgivings - and what I've noticed over the years with deconversion stories and general conversation is that no atheist believes that god owes them something or is angry at a god they don't believe in. They believe that there were people who owed them something, and people that they believed in abused that trust. That god is what you would call a human evil.

Under the abrahamics view, though, there's no such thing as a genuinely natural evil (or, for that matter, a genuinely natural anything, it's all god-breathed). Natural evils are a gods human evils - identical in every respect of moral import. When we say that a man destroying someone's home with a bulldozer is evil, a god destroying someone's home with a wave is evil for the same reasons. When we say that the same man, seeing that a house was about to be destroyed and capable of stopping it does nothing - his apathy and inaction are evil - and so too would a gods apathy or inaction be, again in equal measure for the same reasons.

You might notice that there's no need to posit that the world is evil, or that there should be no conflict or suffering in the world, or to hate the world, in order to understand this relatively simple concept of moral import and agency? Were these all things that featured prominently in your deconversion or in some earlier position you held on gods, before you became an atheist or directly thereafter? Were you angry at a god you didn't believe in? Did you feel that a god you didn't believe in owed you (and owed you some specific thing or state of affairs)? Did the world seem somehow evil or unjust? Were you concerned by some particular human conflict?

Personally, I'm one of those "big deal" types. My being an atheist isn't what ultimately prevents me from being a christian, for example. I'm just not down with stringing up a jew to cover shaking my pecker one too many times when I pee.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#7
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
Regarding the problem of evil, it strikes me that the pantheistic viewpoint is particularly cowardly. By denying both moral and natural evil, they achieve the equivalent of, 'Not my problem, brah.'

Boru
Ignorance is never valid grounds for the rejection of established facts.
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#8
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
In fairness to pantheism - that's not The Pantheistic View. It's our boy Mac's. Even moral realists don't believe in objective natural evil as described. Waves are not moral agents - completely unrelated to beliefs in gods, which posit divine forces that are moral (and generally moralizing) agents. Agency is what puts a god on the hook for things that a wave would skate on - same with man and waves.

A lack of agency would undermine the applicabiity of the term theistic on a fundamental level. It's a personal property, the defining feature of that category of gods.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#9
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
Where's the blueberry muffin option in the poll?
[Image: mtfbwyf.jpg]
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#10
RE: Atheism, Gnosticism & the Problem of Evil
(March 5, 2021 at 7:56 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Regarding the problem of evil, it strikes me that the pantheistic viewpoint is particularly cowardly. By denying both moral and natural evil, they achieve the equivalent of, 'Not my problem, brah.'

Boru

I don't deny human evil, I deny that evil exists in nature.
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