Hypothetical For Atheists
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I understand that you have no factual basis for comparing the experience of slavery in either setting, and that you are basing your arguments on some kind of prejudice in favor of god's chosen people.
"I understand that you have no factual basis for comparing the experience of slavery in either setting"
The slavery in ancient Israel is described in the Bible. The slavery in US history is described in US history books.
You said "Would you want to enter into a relationship with this God?..."
Nope. By your scenario, it deliberately created human sexuality (and every other attribute we have that it doesn't like) just to punish us for it. The most I could manage to feel for it is fear and loathing. I couldn't like it, let alone love it. I certainly couldn't worship it. I couldn't even respect it.
You said "How would you feel about this God's moral beliefs?..."
I'd feel its beliefs were morally reprehensible and despise it for them.
You said "Would it cause you to self-reflect upon your own moral beliefs?..."
Yep. I'd reflect that my moral code is based on the Golden Rule, but the god thing's isn't. Its moral code is based on property rights- they're my flies and I'll tear their wings off if I wanna. They're my toys and I'll break 'em if I wanna. I'd find that extremely disappointing and more than a little frightening. It would be like discovering Stephen King was right about the ants and the screaming insane elder gods.
You said " What if your conscience tells you that raping little children is good?
...but a maximally great being told you it wasn't..."
and you said " In my hypothetical I'm using a very generic form of God that has no connection with the Bible."
You'll find below examples of paedophilia from the three largest religions in the world- Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. They represent 69.7% of the world's population between them, so you won't get a more generic form of the god thing than that.
Going by the Aisha story in the Quran and Mary's age in the Bible, the god thing hasn't got a problem with paedophilia aka child rape. Ancient Jewish tradition holds Mary to have been around 12 when she was betrothed to Joseph and 13 or 14 when Jesus was born. Joseph was said to be 90- talk about old age creeping over youth. Yuck. And Hinduism has this to say about paedophilia :
"Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 13.44 A person of thirty years of age should wed a girl of ten years of age called a Nagnika. Or, a person of one and twenty years of age should wed a girl of seven years of age."
And Lord Krisna liked 'em young. Very young. Children, in fact:
"Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 112.1-10 ”…Lord Krisna beheld the smiling Rukmini in the prime of her youth lying down with great pleasure on a bed adorned with gems. She was not yet fully developed and had just attained puberty. She had just ceased to be a newly married bride…Rukmini, the daughter of Bhismaka, as soon as she saw Krisna bowed before his feet. Later on, Lord Krisna committed sexual intercourse with her at an auspicious moment…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen, Edited by B.D. Basu"
Apparently, sex with children is a holy blessed event. It's almost like men deliberately wrote the rules just so they could fuck little girls, isn't it? Good thing we all know the rules came from god. They must have- all three major world religions promoting paedophilia and all. Hell- they insist on it! And Judaism makes four. Child brides aren't exactly unknown in Buddhist cultures, either, so there's five. God clearly likes paedophilia.
Unfortunately, I disagree with the god thing about paedophilia just as strongly as I disagree with the other stances on human sexuality you attributed to it. I'm not claiming I'd know better than the god thing- perhaps it had sound reasons to create a world where paedophilia's the norm, but homosexuality's an abomination, it being omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omnipresent and all. Hell! Right wingers give me sound capitalist reasons for third world poverty, starvation, even war!- and no doubt it ( the god thing) would burn me in Hell eternally for finding its reasons objectionable.
I imagine there'd be a lot of other conscientious objectors keeping me company in the flames and not all of them would be atheists- quite a few of them would be Christians who disagreed with the god thing, too. None of the Christians I know would agree with it. Its morals would be a bitter disappointment to them. The pain of the disappointment of discovering what it actually was would hurt them more than the flames, I suspect. Oh! And unlike you, they'd never follow a Divine Command to kill a child, either. Neither would any of the Muslims, Sikhs, Baa'hais, Hindus, Jews or Buddhists i know. Your child killing, child raping god thing would create shit loads of martyrs- right across the religion/no religion spectrum. Heaven would be empty, Hell would be full.
@myusernamekthx Can you provide a single example of an action so depraved that you would not commit it, if a being you believed to be god asked you to?
"@myusernamekthx Can you provide a single example of an action so depraved that you would not commit it, if a being you believed to be god asked you to?"
There are probably many. I have trouble following the command Jesus gave "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
But the question you should be asking is would it be possible for any human being to rationally believe that a moral belief or command by God is objectively evil? And would it be possible for a human being to rationally believe that they know more than an omniscient being?
For me the answer is obviously no, which means if God asked me to do something that appeared to be wrong, then it'd be wise for me to conclude that I, the finite being, is missing something.
Let's get what I believe straight.
God exists and it's the Christian version.
What this means is our rational faculties as well as our moral intuitions come from God. This gives us good reason to believe that they're reliable, but to be precise, we would first need to believe in the reliability of our faculties before we could assess anything, including the idea that our faculties ultimately come from God. Consequently, it would make more sense for me to say that my belief in God increases my warrant for the reliability of my faculties and moral intuitions. And because God is our creator and His moral nature is objective, our moral intuitions would be predisposed towards His moral nature. This is why throughout the world there are common moral beliefs like "murder is wrong;" and why we believe in the categories "good" and "evil," with respect to morality. This doesn't mean that human beings always get it right. Mathematics is objective; yet, that doesn't stop many people from being bad at math or making errors in arithmetic.
And my belief in God doesn't magically make me better at moral decisions anymore than a belief in mathematics making a person better at Calculus. However, it makes more sense for a person to say that there are correct answers when they believe there are in fact correct and incorrect answers. In calculus the derivative of x^2 is 2x and it wouldn't make sense for a person to say "No, that's just your perspective. To me the derivative of x^2 is x^3." That person would just be wrong. The atheist, when they consistently follow their belief and the repercussions of their belief, believes there are no correct and incorrect answers to moral questions.
"I don't need God to tell me to not kill or rape or torture someone. I also don't need him to tell me how valuable kindness and compassion and justice are. And it's concerning to me that so many religious people hold to these principles only because it has been commanded of them."
I would argue that you need God for everything, since reality itself would be impossible without Him. And it may be the case that God does exist and that your moral intuitions are indeed from Him, but that for some reason you don't believe in God. But your lack of belief in God in this situation wouldn't change your origin or the way you were made.
You said that you would be stupid to not kill a child if a being you believed to be god told you to...and took issue when I said that with your god, anything could be permitted.
But you haven't actually given a single example of an action so depraved that you would not commit it, if a being you believed to be god asked you to.
I didn't say that you "don't need God to tell me to not kill or rape or torture someone", but it is good to see you admit that god is not necessary in order to refrain from doing harm to others. Rather, I was wondering whether you would truly use god as a pretext to "rape or torture someone" - we already know that you would kill a child just because you believe god told you to.
"You said that you would be stupid to not kill a child if a being you believed to be god told you to...and took issue when I said that with your god, anything could be permitted."
Because those two statements are not the same, for reasons I've already given. You're committing a logical fallacy. I won't bother repeating myself since I've already done a good job explaining my beliefs the first few times. To give you a hint, if God's moral nature included beliefs like "Killing children is wrong," then it wouldn't make sense to say, "All things are permitted." All things wouldn't be permitted if such a God existed; namely, the killing of children wouldn't be permitted.
"But you haven't actually given a single example of an action so depraved that you would not commit it, if a being you believed to be god asked you to."
There are probably thousands if not hundreds of thousands of things that I wouldn't do if God told me to. Like I wrote earlier, I have trouble following the command Jesus gave, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
But that wouldn't be God's fault, nor would it magically mean God is objectively evil--nor would it magically mean His command were objectively evil.
"but it is good to see you admit that god is not necessary in order to refrain from doing harm to others."
I don't believe reality in itself is possible outside of God.
What's funny is the answer you gave is from your bias. Just a silly sidenote.
I WANT HARD EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE OF THESE CLAIMS!
I imagine everyone else here does also. I posted this elsewhere, but I shall do so again here for your convenience. Actually I'm just too lazy to search for it and link.
Burden Of Proof
Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit non ei qui negat.
That is Latin for "he who says he does not have the burden of proof lies." And this is something ALL you Absolutists truly lie about... Your favorite tactic is to turn the burden of proof around by saying, "Then prove God does not exist." Pathetic cop-out which only a childish and spoiled brat would resort to in a discussion. Funny how that also describes all Absolutists. Childish, spoiled brats.
Here is actually where the burden of proof lies. You Absolutists claim there is a supernatural super-being who has ultimate-power, ultimate-knowledge, and ultimate goodness (I beg to differ). We Atheist are simply saying, "We do not believe you. Show us the evidence." Thus, the burden of proof is on you Absolutists.
The burden of proof shall forever lie with those who make the claims about anything. Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence." If you propose the existence of something, anything, you MUST follow the Scientific Method in your defense of its existence. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe your preposterous claims. Hearsay is the worst possible form of any kind of evidence. ALL religious texts are nothing more than 100% hearsay. Thus, I have no reason to believe any religious text as any kind of proof.
- RMF Runyan
Until you Absolutists can present any hard empirical evidence to support your claims, then your claims shall forever be preposterous, and summarily dismissed.
- RMF Runyan
The person making the claim bears the burden of proof. If you are going to claim that scientists are lying, doctors are being paid off, there is a global conspiracy against religion, etc., the burden of proof is on YOU to prove your claim. Just saying it proves nothing, except you possess just enough intelligence to speak.
- paraphrased from thelogicofscience.com by RMF Runyan
And here is a good short argument I found at Atheist Republic:
And for my example of an absurd claim that NO PERSON CAN DISPROVE:
I have an invisible, yet intangible, female elfin Goddess named Lysantra Argolan living with me. She even has her own room in my house. She has some beautifully wonderful ideas as to what we should do with the Absolutists. Only I can see and hear her. For some reason that she will not disclose to me, she will only become visible and tangible for me. No one else. Now prove Lysantra Argolan does not exist.
Always remember the above. Just because I say that I have rationally deduced that I do not believe your preposterous claims for your God's existence, does not mean I have to prove He does not exist. YOU Absolutists are the ones who are making the preposterous and ridiculous claims that a supernatural super-being of ultimate power, ultimate knowledge, and ultimate goodness (I beg to differ on the goodness) exists. We atheists are just saying, "Prove it. Show us the hard empirical evidence."
For us atheists I can solve our part of the burden with four words and one symbol:
No Evidence = No Existence
If there is no evidence for something existing, then logically, it must be not existing.
Here is something Stephen Fry said in an interview when asked what he would say to God:
"Bone cancer in children? What's that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our [human's] fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"
To be wholly honest, Stephen Fry has the perfect proof with that statement that your God does not exist. Just go visit any Children's Hospital and you shall see proof that your God does not exist. Children, young and innocent children, are suffering in the most awful pain. Their parents are praying to your God for protection of their children, for healing of their children. Some children will get better. Most, however, will succumb and die. And your only response to those that die would be, "God is mysterious." God is mysterious? No mystery at all, since He does not exist.
Why would a God who has ultimate power, ultimate knowledge, and ultimate goodness (again I differ on the goodness) allow there to be "bone cancer" in innocent children? I have personally seen a seven-year old child in the hospital with advanced leukemia. (Why I was at the hospital is whole 'nother story.) Sad to say, even after I anonymously donated a sum of money to her family, that child died about nine months later, just three days before her eighth birthday. Cancers to kill children? This makes your God nothing more than a filicidal maniac. A very sick, sadistic psychopath. And where did you say from whence evil comes? And then my question that proves God does not exist, "Why would a God who has ultimate power, ultimate knowledge, and ultimate goodness create faulty humans only to blame us for His mistakes?" The answer is simple: Your sky-faerie does not exist.
Absolutist apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them, which we are not. When you guys were in charge, you did not argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we are doing is, we are presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain like ignorant, spoiled brats.
Men rarely, if ever, manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
-Robert A Heinlein
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.
When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.
-something I read somewhere so long ago, in another life, in a galaxy far, far away… Even hung it as a sign in my office…
And here is an afterthought: If it cannot be falsified or proven, then it cannot be evidence.
THAT is why we like having you around!
*standing on top of table applauding loudly*
"THAT is why we like having you around!"
Why? Because he can copy/paste giant articles of bullshit that not even the atheists here will probably read, as opposed to providing concise explanations for his positions?
I've written long-winded articles on why atheism is irrational, but I'll spare you by not copy/pasting them here because I know you won't read it and even if you did, probably won't understand what was written.
And instead of posting my essays on why atheism is irrational, I provide concise reasons why it's irrational. This is because I have nothing to hide and actually understand philosophy and science. The man who doesn't understand science and philosophy is the man more apt to hide behind a word salad that nobody will bother reading.
@myusername Re: "Why? Because he can copy/paste giant articles of bullshit that not even the atheists here will probably read, as opposed to providing concise explanations for his positions?"
Awwwwww..... You're so CUTE when you dribble like that.... Uh-oh!... Whoopsie.... Looks like it is time to change out your bib. Goochie-goochie-goooo... *scratching under your chin*
"Awwwwww..... You're so CUTE when you dribble like that.... Uh-oh!... Whoopsie.... Looks like it is time to change out your bib. Goochie-goochie-goooo... *scratching under your chin*"
You sound like you have some sort of mental illness. Even your avatar is creepy. What's that all about? Are you one of the many men who are perpetually trapped in adolescence? Do you watch The Wizard of Oz at least once every day?
Here's hoping that you're at least a woman. If you're indeed a man, then I'd wager a guess that your basement serves as a dungeon for little boys.
Please review the forum guidelines:
"Here's hoping that you're at least a woman. If you're indeed a man, then I'd wager a guess that your basement serves as a dungeon for little boys.
Please review the forum guidelines:"
I don't care about this forum, you, or the forum rules.
But what I wrote isn't even homophobic or sexist.
***Last sentence removed by forum mod****
@myusername Re: "You sound like you have some sort of mental illness."
HEY! Who told you that??? By golly, my psychiatrist will be hearing about THIS! There is suppose to be this thing called "Doctor/patient confidentiality" last time I checked! I smell lawsuit!
And just so you know, I am not perpetually trapped in adolescence, thank-you-very-much. My adolescence has to be back inside before 5 and in bed by 8. So nannie-nannie-nah-nah! *sticking out tongue*
You really think my profile pic is creepy? Aww.... And that is my favorite pic. They actually got my good side. *frownie face* Oh, but since you asked, I DID use to watch Wizard of Oz TWICE a day. I've had to cut back to only twice a week nowadays, though. There's this stupid little annoyance called "Life" that keeps popping up and interfering with my TV time.
Actually, my basement serves as a dungeon for all my toy robots. But - Shhhhhhhh....- *whispering*... don't tell anybody. *finger over lips*
myusernamekthx has been escorted out of the building.
@Cyber Re: The demise of myusername
WHAT??? NOOOOooooooo....! *falling down on knees with hands over face*... Now he won't get to see my reply! I was just starting to have fun!.... *crying and sobbing uncontrollably*
Sorry about that Tin-Man. I even came back to see if I could have some fun myself.
Dang. Myuser sure went on a warpath, huh? I love it when people lose their temper like that. Makes it easier to make fun of them.
Oh well... And I had a few doozies to throw at him.