theodicy

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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 11, 2021 5:03 pm

Philosophy of Religion
Chapter 6. The Problem of Evil
Section 4. Theodicy

Madden and Hare: Counter to John Hick

These two philosophers argue against the position of Hick. They claim that Hick commits three fallacies:

All or Nothing fallacy---but, there could be an intermediary position between being free and being robots (puppets)


Okay, but how is that then reconciled with those who claim that their own God is omniscient? It would seem [to me] to be the theological equivalent of peacegirl's free will/no free will frame of mind on her determinism thread.

It could be worse – but, it could be better


Better or worse than what? We'll need a context of course. And God knows what that might be.


Slippery slope (if the world were perfect, humans would need to be robots)...but, the existence of limits is possible (freedom within limits)


You know, whatever that means given a particular set of circumstances. Unless, of course, we really do live in a wholly determined universe. Then all of this terrible pain and suffering derived from a loving, just and merciful God is merely a manifestation of whatever nature compels me, you, all of us to think it is.

They claim that it is possible that there could be a universe created by a deity that could have creatures of free will who do not choose evil. God could have chosen not to permit those humans to be conceived that god knew in advance of their conception would use their free will to choose and to do evil. The deity, God, might permit only those fetuses to develop that creator deity, God, knew in advance would lead to the birth and life of basically good person who would avoid choosing to do evil.


Here of course we are in sim world, dream world, Matrix world territory. Anything able to be "thought up" in our heads is possible to explain "evil"/evil merely by claiming something -- anything -- explains it. And not just the fantastic claims above. Here at ILP we've had any number members over the years who have offered us their own fantastic theological/philosophical assumptions/theories about every possible thing under the sun.

Right, Fixed Jacob? :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 21, 2021 6:31 pm

Philosophy of Religion
Chapter 6. The Problem of Evil
Section 4. Theodicy

“The Free Will Defense” by Alvin Plantinga

Summary by Meghan Ramsay (QCC, 2004)

In examining the Problem of Evil, Alvin Plantinga holds that the Free Will Defense is an acceptable method for overcoming the claim that the Problem of Evil negates the existence of God. Plantinga outlines the Free Will Defense as stating, “A world containing creatures who are significantly free (and freely perform more good than evil actions) is more valuable than a world containing no free creatures.” Plantinga also states that in order to create creatures that are freely capable of committing morally good acts, He must also create creatures that are simultaneously just as capable of committing morally evil acts.


Where to even begin...

Suppose we can all agree that there is a rational manner in which to reconcile an all-knowing Creator -- another assumption? -- with human autonomy. Okay, how then do we go about pinning down which human behaviors are, in fact, objectively good and evil? Do or do not all of the multitude of religious denominations down through the ages agree on some things but disagree on others? And that's before we get to all of the vast and varied contexts in which all of the variables are never exactly the same. Though shalt not kill? When and where given what exact set of circumstances? It's okay in a religious crusade? Or to bring down the infidels? Or to stop a doctor who performs abortions?

Additionally, God cannot simultaneously give these creatures the freedom to commit evil and yet prevent them from doing so.


Ah, but here we are ever and always talking about a God that has been "thought up" by mere mortals themselves. At least to the best of my own current knowledge. Unless, unbeknown to me, an actual God has in fact been demonstrated to exist. When God is the stuff of Scriptures, and Scriptures are the stuff of mere mortals, He can accomplish anything at all. For all we know, God has dumped us all into his very own Matrix or sim world contraption. Just to entertain Himself perhaps.

One objection to the Free Will Defense is that it is possible for beings that are capable of committing evil to never do so. Based upon God’s omnipotence, it is possible that a world full of such creatures could exist.


Am I understanding this correctly? God is all powerful, allows mere mortals to freely choose their behaviors, but then prevents them from acting on what, of their own volition, they want to do?

Instead, more likely to be this:

Those who object to the Free Will Defense use this line of argument to assert that either God is not wholly good or that God is not omnipotent.


I am not personally aware of any prominent proponent of the partly bad [or indifferent] God, but Harold Kushner is well known for embracing a God that set into existence a world that has somehow gotten beyond His control. But, again, this would appear to be just more of the same: a God that is defined or thought into existence. With no way to actually establish which it is. Or if any God at all does exist.

Once it comes down to a thought up God, the sky's the limits as to what one proposes that He is:

Plantinga also offers the argument of Leibniz who stated that since before creation, God had the choice of creating any one of a multitude of worlds, and since the omnipotent and all good God chose to create this world, it must be the best possible world.


This world? The best of all possible worlds? In that case this all powerful and all good God is clearly not all knowing. Starting with the Holocaust itself, which must have gotten by him somehow.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: theodicy

Postby Dan~ » Sat May 22, 2021 9:42 am

I wrote that evil comes about via primordial fear.
It would require that God protect infants from all forms of trauma and abuse.
Killing all the "bad people" is typical of the Jew-god solution.
But at that point, it is too late.
Bad people are usually wrecked.
Prevention is the real answer to the problem of evil.

God obviously doesn't manifest worth beans in the big picture.

We need the real deal.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 22, 2021 8:29 pm

Dan~ wrote:I wrote that evil comes about via primordial fear.
It would require that God protect infants from all forms of trauma and abuse.
Killing all the "bad people" is typical of the Jew-god solution.
But at that point, it is too late.
Bad people are usually wrecked.
Prevention is the real answer to the problem of evil.

God obviously doesn't manifest worth beans in the big picture.

We need the real deal.


We'll need a real deal context of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Dan~ » Sat May 22, 2021 8:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:I wrote that evil comes about via primordial fear.
It would require that God protect infants from all forms of trauma and abuse.
Killing all the "bad people" is typical of the Jew-god solution.
But at that point, it is too late.
Bad people are usually wrecked.
Prevention is the real answer to the problem of evil.

God obviously doesn't manifest worth beans in the big picture.

We need the real deal.


We'll need a real deal context of course.


Why do you always ask for a context?

Primordial fear is a fear that babies and adults can both feel.
Someone pulls a gun on you, boom, fear.
That can be a context.
Fear of strangers with weapons.

If God doesn't want evil,
he shouldn't let it germinate.
Example of a disease.
Tumors start small, then they get bigger and bigger.
There is another context. Cancer.

Your daughter gets hit by a car.
God wasn't there to prevent that event from happening.
There is a context.
The real deal would be a God that literally
manifests and talks to people.
Instead of sending prophets and sock puppets.
Context would be the history of prophets
being killed for what they said.
Obviously, the 1 prophet method doesn't work.
I like http://www.accuradio.com , internet radio.
https://dannerz.itch.io/ -- a new and minimal webside now hosting my free game projects.
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Re: theodicy

Postby Sculptor » Sat May 22, 2021 9:21 pm

iambiguous wrote:Theodicy:

Theodicy means vindication of God. It is to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil, thus resolving the issue of the problem of evil. wiki
]


Theodicy is better called Theidiocy is the bleating of fools you cannot understand why an all powerful god is utterly in capable of designing a decent world to live in ; as if god is restrained by some sort of "as good as it gets" crapola.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 22, 2021 9:47 pm

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Dan~ wrote:I wrote that evil comes about via primordial fear.
It would require that God protect infants from all forms of trauma and abuse.
Killing all the "bad people" is typical of the Jew-god solution.
But at that point, it is too late.
Bad people are usually wrecked.
Prevention is the real answer to the problem of evil.

God obviously doesn't manifest worth beans in the big picture.

We need the real deal.


We'll need a real deal context of course.


Why do you always ask for a context?

Primordial fear is a fear that babies and adults can both feel.
Someone pulls a gun on you, boom, fear.
That can be a context.
Fear of strangers with weapons.


First, of course, this thread revolves around a God, the God, my God creating a world in which such fear is grimly common. Given the fact that so many of the faithful insist that God is loving, just and merciful. And then the terror that is inflicted upon millions around the globe as a result of this God creating a planet rife with any number of "natural disasters". A God creating, in turn, such critters as HIV and covid19 and malaria and Bubonic plague.

Harold Kushner's God excepted of course.

And then what if the context revolves around, say, the right to bear arms? The fear of those compelled to arm themselves to the teeth. And then the fear of others afraid of those folks.

You generally post what I call "general description intellectual/spiritual contraptions". Fine, that's your prerogative. But they are only of interest to me given the arguments I make here: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=186929

A thread those like you here tend to steer clear of.

Dan~ wrote: If God doesn't want evil,
he shouldn't let it germinate.
Example of a disease.
Tumors start small, then they get bigger and bigger.
There is another context. Cancer.


Yeah, that's my point. God clearly appears to want what most mere mortals would call evil...if one of us brought it into existence. So, folks like those above on this thread try to think up ways to explain that. Given their own understanding of God.

Dan~ wrote: Your daughter gets hit by a car.
God wasn't there to prevent that event from happening.
There is a context.
The real deal would be a God that literally
manifests and talks to people.
Instead of sending prophets and sock puppets.
Context would be the history of prophets
being killed for what they said.
Obviously, the 1 prophet method doesn't work.


Note to others:

You tell me where he is going with this.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 30, 2021 6:15 pm

THE PROBLEM OF THEODICY.
BY EZRA KLEIN
at The American Prospect

This is an interesting point from Ross Douthat:

"Consider, for instance, the way in which the dominance of the Christian story has actually sharpened one of the best arrows in the anti-theist's quiver. In Western society, especially, the oft-heard claim that the world is too cruel a place for a good omnipotence to have created derives a great deal of its power, whether implicitly or explicitly, from the person of Christ himself. The God of the New Testament seems more immediate, more personal, and more invested in his creation than He had heretofore revealed Himself to be. But this arguably makes Him seem more culpable for the world's suffering as well. Paradoxically, the God who addresses Job out of the whirlwind is far less vulnerable to complaints about the world's injustice than the God who suffers on the Cross - or the human God who cries in the manger. For many Christians, Christ's suffering provides a partial answer to the problem of theodicy. But for many atheists and agnostics, it only sharpens the question: How can a God who loves mankind enough to die for us allow us to suffer as much as we do?


First of all, Christians need to explain how Yahweh of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New Testament are one and the same God. What difference does it make to make the comparison in regard to human pain and suffering, if they are both the same Dude? It is like some Christians way back then, after seeing just how horrific God actually could be in the Old Testament, figured it was time to show the world another side of Him.

As for, "How can a God who loves mankind enough to die for us allow us to suffer as much as we do?", is there really anything other than either 1] Kushner's less than omnipotent God 2] an omniscient and omnipotent God who works in "mysterious ways".

To put it slightly differently, the God of the Christian Gospels offers more "testable" claims than the God of the Torah. It's not terribly hard to believe that the God who ended Saul's Kingship because he decided not to kill the wives, children, and livestock of the Amalakites wouldn't much concern himself with childhood leukemia. It's harder to say the same of Christ. What makes Christianity so emotionally appealing to some is also what makes it so intellectually vulnerable to others.


There it is in a nutshell. Most progressive Christians bring us around time and again to Jesus Christ...the socialist? Whereas Jews have Yahweh. And how difficult, with a God like Him, is it to rationalize, among other things, the historical plight of the Palestinians given the creation of Israel?

You get the God you need it seems. So, who do you need God to be?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:10 am

It seems taking the English translation of the Bible at face value, particularly the Old Testament, provides logic problems equating the Gods of the Old and New Testament. Thus the creation of the "Demiurge" by Gnostics to explain the God of the Old Testament as opposed to God the Father and Christ in the New. I think the answer might lie in a denial of the inerrancy of the Old Testament and the New in terms of the discrepancy between human-powered meritocracy in the earning of Heaven and Christ-replication in the Christianity of Paul.

As it is, I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to deny iambiguous' observations.

Pantheopsychic theology is the best way to go.

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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:37 pm

Student Zone
Philosophy of religion » The problem of evil
at The Tablet website

God as either not powerful, not aware or not loving

The first approach has been taken by various different scholars. Some, from John Stuart Mill to Jürgen Moltmann, have suggested that the only acceptable way to defend God against charges of creating or allowing evil and suffering is to argue that there are limits to his power. This leaves God knowing about and understanding our suffering and wishing to do everything possible to ameliorate our situation – but being effectively impotent. For others this God would not be worthy of worship. They prefer to argue that God could act but does not do so either because he does not know about our suffering (as the little-known Socinian Movement suggested) or that God's goodness is more akin to justice than love for humanity. This approach was popular with some Jewish scholars after the Holocaust but has not been popular with Christians, who have more of an interest in defending God's loving, forgiving nature.


Again, that's the beauty of believing in God based on more or less blind faith. Or based on one or another Scripture. He can become whatever you need Him to be. He can be twisted into any spiritual shape you need Him to be twisted into in order to make sense of the world that you live in...the world as you understand it to be. As though God is a character in a novel that you are writing. Or reading.

Of course some Jewish scholars are going to go down this path given the Holocaust. It may not be the perfect explanation but surely it is better than having to believe that there is no ultimate meaning beyond the genocide of your own people. That the Holocaust in a No God world is just another manifestation of the "brute facticity" rooted in an essentially meaningless world.

In other words, theodicy, not unlike God Himself, works in mysterious ways.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:50 pm

Student Zone
Philosophy of religion » The problem of evil
at The Tablet website

St Thomas Aquinas succeeded in maintaining the principle of God's perfection by redefining the concept of God.


Beautiful! You can't actually produce this God of yours in order that He might explain all of the terrible pain and suffering that is deeply embedded throughout the whole of nature, so you redefine Him conceptually in order that nature itself is subsumed in the definition.

Just as the No God Humanists among us will encompass the meaning of such things as Freedom and Justice by subsuming that meaning into their own assumptions regarding conflicting goods.

If God is wholly simple, beyond time and space, then the meaning of labels such as "omnipotent", "omniscient" and "omnibenevolent" is only analogous, "univocal" or literal. For God to be timelessly good does not involve moral choices or preferring humanity to other species, let alone some people over others.


Got that? Another bunch of words totally divorced from a context that can come to mean anything that you "think up". Like your own conceptual understanding of "moral choice" itself.

For Aquinas, God's goodness means just that God is fully actual, being all that God can be. His power is just in being responsible for creation and his knowledge in having defined that creation. There is, for Aquinas, no question of there being any inconsistency or irrationality in believing in the perfection of God and the existence of evil – though to be safe Aquinas, like St Augustine, chooses to define evil as a lack, a negative quality, rather than ascribing to it any positive nature. Aquinas therefore adopts the second and fourth approach as well as the first.


How about this, then: "For God, Aquinas..."

What follows then predicated solely on God's own definition and meaning. And, sure, why not "define evil as a lack".

Anyone here willing to go there?

We focus in on things like "natural disasters" or "''congenital birth defects" or all the ghastly pain and suffering endured by the truly innocent children around the globe and explain it all away "negatively" as Aquinas would define a God able to explain it all away Himself.

For example, as a manifestation of His now rather infamous "mysterious ways".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:21 pm

Student Zone
Philosophy of religion » The problem of evil
at The Tablet website

A moral explanation for the existence of evil


Let that sink in for a moment. Not only is evil necessary, it's also a good thing.

The third approach, theodicies suggesting that there is a morally sufficient reason for a perfect God to have created or allowed evil and suffering, are probably the most numerous. Most famously, St Augustine proposed several reasons why a good God would have allowed evil (which he defined as a privation of good) and the suffering it causes. These reasons ranged from God allowing it so that we could better appreciate goodness and come to understand his power to God allowing it so that we can be free and responsible, thus earning salvation.


So, we can go to a newspaper and read about this: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/28 ... iami-beach

Some might argue this has nothing to do with God since it happened as a result of human error in the construction of the building. Right, like an omnipotent God was absolutely powerless in keeping the building from toppling. But in the churches that the families and friends who lost loved ones here will attend it will almost certainly revolve instead around God's mysterious ways.

In any event, those in the collapsed building who worshipped and adored the one true God are now in Heaven with him. And isn't that what counts even if we can't explain why a loving, just and merciful God would allow such things to happen.

The "free-will defence" which formed a small part of Augustine's thinking on the problem of evil and suffering has come to be the focus of many later scholars' theodicies. The reformed epistemologist Alvin Plantinga is associated with the most recent developed formulation of this, an argument which concludes that Hume and Mackie were wrong to label belief inconsistent or irrational.


So, those who lived in the building and died as a result of the collapse chose of their own free will to live there?

Since the 1960s there has been a resurgence of interest in the primitive theodicy put forward by St Irenaeus of Lyons in the second century AD. John Hick, in his important work Evil and the God of Love surveyed the state of theodicy and concluded that the best approach to resolving the problem of evil and suffering as it impacted on real people was to build on Irenaeus' suggestion that God allows or even creates evil and consequently opportunities for suffering so that people may develop from God's image into his true likeness. Hick calls this process "soul-making". As Richard Swinburne has observed, it is possible to understand how a loving God, like a loving parent, may allow child-like people to suffer that they may learn and grow into their potential.


How on earth can those who died in the collapsed building learn and grow if they are no longer around to learn and grow? Or has God decided their fate in order that their loved ones can learn and grow from an experience that right now they view only as ghastly and unbearable?

From my frame of mind, once you attempt to explain the sheer enormity of human pain and suffering by anything other than merely resigning yourself to accepting God's mysterious Will, you are forced to think yourself into accepting any number of. what to many, are simply unbelievable [even ridiculous] rationalizations.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 09, 2021 5:48 pm

Student Zone
Philosophy of religion » The problem of evil
at The Tablet website

Suffering and injustice

This Irenaean approach does, however, beg questions over the inequality of opportunities. Why do some chidren suffer so horrendously and die well before they have any opportunity to grow from the experience? Why is there a need for such extreme evil when people could develop after experiencing much more moderate suffering?


Pointing to things like this will have almost no effect on those able to simply fall back on a God, the God, my God's mysterious ways. The only question begged for some is why others can't just accept that themselves. He's God for Christ's sake! What on earth can mere mortals actually know about His motivation and intention.

Besides, they can come back at you with, "what's the alternative?" In other words, if there is no ultimately loving, just and merciful God, then all of those terrible things [and tons beside] happen in an essentially meaningless world.

Look at all of the people here at ILP who are able to rationalze the existence of their own God given the at times truly ghastly world that we live in. They might fall back on all the reasons broached in articles like this, but the "mysterious ways" explanation is always there to fall back on in the end.

The degree of evil and suffering in the world is the focus of many recent attempts at theodicy, from scholars such as Roderick Chisholm and Marilyn McCord Adams in particular. The extent of suffering has also been highlighted by "protest atheists", who argue that attempts to justify God for creating or allowing it are basically tasteless.


"Protest atheists"? Google it and you get this: https://www.google.com/search?q=protest ... JEQ4dUDCBE

So, atheists who take it all public and protest against religion? Making it all a political issue?

And, again, what can it possibly mean for a mere mortal to call those who rationalize God's reasons for allowing a world like this one "tasteless"? On the other hand, for many of them the argument is that much of the suffering that does go on is as a result not only of religious fanatics going after the infidels but because millions upon millions of the faithful make no effort to organize politically and change the systemic nature of their own exploitation.

In fiction characters from Dostoevsky's Ivan Karamazov to Hardy's Jude and Greene's Bendrix stand in judgement and condemn God, suggesting him to be unworthy of worship because of the horrors he permits for no clear benefit.


Okay, noted. Now, in terms of immortality, salvation and paradise, what did these authors suggest to replace Him?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:37 pm

Student Zone
Philosophy of religion » The problem of evil
at The Tablet website

Conclusion:

There are those who remind us that we are in no position to know the mind of God. However inscrutable are the reasons for allowing horrendous innocent suffering, God may have them and we cannot judge as the full facts are hidden from us.


My advice: stick with that.

You can come up with all manner of "explanations" as to why a loving, just and merciful God would steer clear of intervening during the Holocaust or why He world create a planet bursting at the seams with all manner of natural disaster and pandemics.

If they work for you, fine, that's all that really matters. But you can always fall back on His "mysterious ways", right? Why this or why that? Because, that's why.

In the Old Testament, Job drew such a conclusion after a long time of wrestling with the injustice that he was forced to bear, as did Fr Paneloux in Camus' The Plague. Interestingly Immanuel Kant wrestled with the existence of injustice in the world and concluded that it was the human lot to carry on believing that God is good and his creation fair, despite having no evidence to support that belief: living in hope despite the situation seeming hopeless, and having no reasonable expectation.


Is there anyone here willing to argue that individual reactions like this are not rooted subjectively in the lives that we live? And that had our own lives been very, very different we might have come to think about theodicy otherwise? How is this not basically just common sense? And, from my frame of mind, the only way to upend it is to come up with an argument that simply cannot be refuted. An assessment that pins down once and for all why the world is what it is given a God that does in fact exist.

Such, perhaps, is the nature of faith. While few would accept Tertullian's assertion that faith is only faith when it is in the impossible, experiencing the existence of evil and suffering makes it difficult to see faith as an entirely rational response to creation. The business of theodicy is unlikely to yield results but, it seems, efforts are just as unlikely to cease.


Or course faith itself is like God's mysterious ways: beyond the reasoning mind. Therefore any attempt to bring it within the confines of actual demonstrable proof completely misses the point. It's faith that comforts and consoles you. And nothing that the self-professed rational atheists argue is going to give you either objective morality or immortality.

So, sure, if you can, stick with it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Bob » Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:38 pm

Perhaps it is pertinent to point out that we don't even understand our own consciousness, so how are we going to understand the mind of God?

What if we and all life were all part of a collective mind which, as a whole we called God. That way, it would be God suffering as much as we do ...
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:01 pm

Bob wrote:Perhaps it is pertinent to point out that we don't even understand our own consciousness, so how are we going to understand the mind of God?

What if we and all life were all part of a collective mind which, as a whole we called God. That way, it would be God suffering as much as we do ...


Sure, if, for whatever reason [rooted in dasein], you are able to convince yourself that this is not only possible or probable or likely but in fact actually true then the belief in itself can comfort and console you. Suffering becomes just a part of the collective mind that is a part of whatever brought it into existence. Better that than an essentially meaningless and purposeless life rooted in the brute facticity of existence itself.

And then the [perhaps] even spookier speculation about the collective mind being but a manifestation of the only possible reality in a wholly determined universe in which this thread is in itself the embodiment of human brains able to create the psychological illusion of having created it freely.

But that still leaves the millions upon millions of a God, the God, my God folks able to subsume all the terrible suffering that suffuses nature on all levels here on planet Earth, in this God's "mysterious ways".

The collective mind folks then still being but a teeny tiny percentage of us.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Bob » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:10 am

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote:Perhaps it is pertinent to point out that we don't even understand our own consciousness, so how are we going to understand the mind of God?

What if we and all life were all part of a collective mind which, as a whole we called God. That way, it would be God suffering as much as we do ...


Sure, if, for whatever reason [rooted in dasein], you are able to convince yourself that this is not only possible or probable or likely but in fact actually true then the belief in itself can comfort and console you. Suffering becomes just a part of the collective mind that is a part of whatever brought it into existence. Better that than an essentially meaningless and purposeless life rooted in the brute facticity of existence itself.

And then the [perhaps] even spookier speculation about the collective mind being but a manifestation of the only possible reality in a wholly determined universe in which this thread is in itself the embodiment of human brains able to create the psychological illusion of having created it freely.

But that still leaves the millions upon millions of a God, the God, my God folks able to subsume all the terrible suffering that suffuses nature on all levels here on planet Earth, in this God's "mysterious ways".

The collective mind folks then still being but a teeny tiny percentage of us.

Perhaps you could find the patience to watch something from Bernado Kastrup, or better read some of his books. He lays down the basis for such a hypothesis in a very intelligent way. It isn’t new, of course, and the eastern traditions hint at such a possibility, which is something that Alan Watts picked up in the sixties and seventies. He told a humorous version of it, but it was very similar.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 28, 2021 1:53 am

Bob wrote:Perhaps you could find the patience to watch something from Bernado Kastrup, or better read some of his books. He lays down the basis for such a hypothesis in a very intelligent way. It isn’t new, of course, and the eastern traditions hint at such a possibility, which is something that Alan Watts picked up in the sixties and seventies. He told a humorous version of it, but it was very similar.


What can I say...

Cite an example of him addressing the points I raise above in his books. Given a particular set of circumstances in which some might question the love and the mercy and the justice of a God that created a planet bursting at the seams with all manner of "natural disasters". Not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of ghastly medical afflictions that can beset us. And the bacteria and viruses He created that destroy the lives of millions and millions.

Bernardo Kastrup

“...if we could escape the hysterical cacophony of culture so to develop a more authentic and unbiased worldview...”

An authentic and unbiased worldview in regard to what specific moral and political conflagration?

"The ability to turn conscious apprehension itself into an object of conscious apprehension is what fundamentally characterizes our ordinary state of consciousness.”

How might this relate specifically to theodicy?

"Particular experiences – that is, particular contents of mind – are just mind in movement.”

What particular content did he have in mind? The mind moving in what direction given a situation where these moving minds come into fierce conflict?

"There is nothing illogical, inconsistent, incoherent, or absurd about the idea that the medium of reality is mind itself.”

And he demonstrates this how?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:34 am

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote:Perhaps you could find the patience to watch something from Bernado Kastrup, or better read some of his books. He lays down the basis for such a hypothesis in a very intelligent way. It isn’t new, of course, and the eastern traditions hint at such a possibility, which is something that Alan Watts picked up in the sixties and seventies. He told a humorous version of it, but it was very similar.


What can I say...

Cite an example of him addressing the points I raise above in his books. Given a particular set of circumstances in which some might question the love and the mercy and the justice of a God that created a planet bursting at the seams with all manner of "natural disasters". Not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of ghastly medical afflictions that can beset us. And the bacteria and viruses He created that destroy the lives of millions and millions.

Bernardo Kastrup

“...if we could escape the hysterical cacophony of culture so to develop a more authentic and unbiased worldview...”

An authentic and unbiased worldview in regard to what specific moral and political conflagration?

"The ability to turn conscious apprehension itself into an object of conscious apprehension is what fundamentally characterizes our ordinary state of consciousness.”

How might this relate specifically to theodicy?

"Particular experiences – that is, particular contents of mind – are just mind in movement.”

What particular content did he have in mind? The mind moving in what direction given a situation where these moving minds come into fierce conflict?

"There is nothing illogical, inconsistent, incoherent, or absurd about the idea that the medium of reality is mind itself.”

And he demonstrates this how?

You are just lazy! Nobody can do the job of listening and thinking for you. Just picking out some soundbites is just cherrypicking ...
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:37 pm

Bob wrote:You are just lazy! Nobody can do the job of listening and thinking for you. Just picking out some soundbites is just cherrypicking ...


Right, Bob. It's all about me. I'm being lazy.

Look, with any luck you will be able to take your own comforting spiritual consolations with you to the grave.

I wish I were able to myself.

But, if not, given the amount of time over the years I have devoted to exploring questions such as this, it won't be because I'm lazy. It's because for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.

Although, sure, admittedly, He may well have "mysterious ways" that I am not privy to. I might die and, because He recognized the sincerity embedded in my struggle to understand all this with the free will He provided, He might grant me access to Heaven and once there I finally will be privy to why the world as I know it is what it is.

Maybe you and I and Ierrellus will get together from time to time up there and think back bemused at all this squabbling we had.

All's well that ends well, right Bob?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:31 pm

iambiguous wrote:But, if not, given the amount of time over the years I have devoted to exploring questions such as this, it won't be because I'm lazy. It's because for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.

Your problem is holding on to the concepts of God that you can’t reconcile. My suggestion to read Kastrup was an attempt to get you away from those ideas and look at a different take on reality. If you keep staring at an imagined monster, it won’t go away. What if reality is far different from the assumed materialistic vision that not only science, but very many Christians adhere to, is wrong? After all, our brains interpret what our senses give it, and when that process is slowed or impaired, it reveals a different reality, so what if our interpretation is wrong?

What if the myths of the Bible are just a “finger pointing to the moon”, and that the cultural symbols it uses are dated, and restricted to the time it was written, but still useful as an indicator of transcendence? There is so much we don’t know, so many other possibilities, and you are sat staring at a nightmare, refusing to get up and leave it behind you.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:02 pm

iambiguous wrote:But, if not, given the amount of time over the years I have devoted to exploring questions such as this, it won't be because I'm lazy. It's because for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.


Bob wrote: Your problem is holding on to the concepts of God that you can’t reconcile. My suggestion to read Kastrup was an attempt to get you away from those ideas and look at a different take on reality. If you keep staring at an imagined monster, it won’t go away. What if reality is far different from the assumed materialistic vision that not only science, but very many Christians adhere to, is wrong? After all, our brains interpret what our senses give it, and when that process is slowed or impaired, it reveals a different reality, so what if our interpretation is wrong?


No, my problem remains this:

...for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.

And I will read Kastrup when you can note specific examples from his books that address the points I raise on this thread. Examples able to convince me that he is worth pursuing further. Otherwise you are just another Ierrellus or Felix insisting that I should read the authors that they believe will change my mind about how a God, the God that creates natural disasters and ghastly medical afflictions and virulent viruses and does nothing to end the staggering pain and suffering that has ever inundated the human species --- especially among the truly innocent children -- is not a sadistic monster.

Or look at the brutal savagery that encompasses all the other creatures in nature. What on earth was God thinking?!

After all, there's nothing at all imaginary about the gruesome pain and suffering.

Bob wrote: What if the myths of the Bible are just a “finger pointing to the moon”, and that the cultural symbols it uses are dated, and restricted to the time it was written, but still useful as an indicator of transcendence? There is so much we don’t know, so many other possibilities, and you are sat staring at a nightmare, refusing to get up and leave it behind you.


Note to others:

How on Earth is this relevant to the points I make regarding theodicy? How does this make any God, given human history and planet Earth to date, any less a very unloving unmerciful and unjust sadistic monster?

Pick one:

1] God's mysterious ways
2] Harold Kushner's God

Or, sure, your own explanation.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:20 am

No, my problem remains this:

...for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.

I know it sounds simplistic, but just don’t. What is causing you to bring the hypothesis God into the discussion at all? Is it that you want to protest at people who don’t have the problems with God that you have? Are you angry that people can have some faith in a transcendent power, and you can’t?

And I will read Kastrup when you can note specific examples from his books that address the points I raise on this thread. Examples able to convince me that he is worth pursuing further. Otherwise you are just another Ierrellus or Felix insisting that I should read the authors that they believe will change my mind about how a God, the God that creates natural disasters and ghastly medical afflictions and virulent viruses and does nothing to end the staggering pain and suffering that has ever inundated the human species --- especially among the truly innocent children -- is not a sadistic monster.

The problem is that you are not going to be helped unless you come away from the poison that ails you. It is a never-ending circle in which you move. If you can only ask one question, and not change to move out of the recurring frustrations, you will remain in your vortex, swirling about yourself in angry vigour, unable to look outside.

The Legacy of a Truth-Seeker

Having trodden the path for cycles uncountable,
Having crossed the ocean of mind from end to end,
Through all veils, its fountainhead have I finally seen.
To you, honest truth-seeker treading the path behind me, I grant the gift of my legacy.

I have learned thus:
Only untruths can be experienced.
Hence, only untruths can exist.
Truth is fundamentally incompatible with existence
For it is that which gives rise to existence,
As a loudspeaker gives rise to sound.

Experiences are self-referential tricks:
They arise from nothing and are made of nothing.
If you dig deep enough within yourself,
You shall always find the layer of self-deception
Upon which any one of your convictions ultimately rests.

One’s reality sprouts from the first layer of self-deception
That escapes one’s field of critical awareness.
The deeper this field, the more subtle the self-deception.
Those with little critical awareness thus live more colorful lives:
Their fiction is fancier.

The honest search for truth annihilates its own subject
Slowly, recursively, from within.
Having peeled away every layer of self-deception within me,
I have found myself to be like an onion:
Nothing is left.

Only nothing is true.
No external references exist, no outside arbiters.
We are self-created fictions and so is the cosmos.
Truth-seeking is the path to self-annihilation
And thus to liberation.

Rejoice, for your pains, fears, frustrations and regrets
Are all untrue.
There is nothing to fear, nothing to strive for, nothing to regret.
You have no soul; that’s just self-deception.
And you won’t die; that’s just self-deception.

But beware!

As a dream symbolically portrays the inner state of the dreamer,
As a novel insinuates the inner life of the writer,
As a lie betrays the insecurities of the liar,
So the fiction you call reality reveals something about truth.

Thus pay attention to life,
For truth expresses itself only through its own fictions.
To discern truth in fiction: here is the cosmic conundrum!
To engage wholeheartedly without being taken in: here is the ultimate challenge!
To find meaning in nothingness: here is the epic demand of nature!

Partake in reality as an actor in a theatrical play:
With attention, dedication and an open heart.
But never believe yourself to be your character
For characters spend their lives chasing their own shadows,
Whereas actors embody the meaning of existence.

May my legacy serve you as a warning, but also encouragement.
The prize at the end of the path is handsome:
The freedom to make the deliberate, guiltless choice
Of which untruth to live.
Exercising this choice wisely is the art of life.

Kastrup, Bernardo. More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth And Belief (S.238-240). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle-Version.


Or look at the brutal savagery that encompasses all the other creatures in nature. What on earth was God thinking?!

After all, there's nothing at all imaginary about the gruesome pain and suffering.

God was thinking? Like you or I?

Savagery means “an uncivilized or barbaric state or condition; barbarity.” The creatures in nature are uncivilised, nature is like that. But it was on Christian ethics, regardless of what some people made out of them, that western civilisation was built. Some prophet sat down and said, this world is as it is, but we have the inspiration to change it, at least where we are. What has arisen since then, isn’t perfect, but it is a whole lot better than it was. There is a lot to do.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
When you are out of touch with reality you will easily embrace a delusion, and equally put in doubt the most basic elements of existence. If this reminds you of the mindset of the present day materialist science and philosophy establishments, as well as of the loudest voices in the socio-political debate, we should not be particularly surprised, since they show all the signs of attending with the left hemisphere alone. I live in the hope that that may soon change: for without a change we are lost.
McGilchrist, Iain . The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (S.562). Perspectiva Press. Kindle-Version.
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:02 pm

Problem of Evil (Responses)
From the lumen website

Responses to the problem of evil have occasionally been classified as defences or theodicies; however, authors disagree on the exact definitions.


On the other hand, with me, if you are ever intent on pinning this down please move on to others. I'm willing to accept that you have thought through your own definition of theodicy and are prepared to explore it given the way we both connect the dots between our understanding of God and the human condition.

Generally, a defense against the problem of evil may refer to attempts to defuse the logical problem of evil by showing that there is no logical incompatibility between the existence of evil and the existence of God. This task does not require the identification of a plausible explanation of evil, and is successful if the explanation provided shows that the existence of God and the existence of evil are logically compatible. It need not even be true, since a false though coherent explanation would be sufficient to show logical compatibility.


Here though it would seem a distinction must be made between a theological assessment of theodicy and a philosophical assessment. After all, given the role that faith plays in most religious denominations, how far can logic go in broaching, assessing, evaluating and then judging God given the world as it is with all of the things that might be described as evil. Once one points in the general direction of God's mysterious ways, what then of logic?

Though of course that won't stop some from going there:

A theodicy, on the other hand, is more ambitious, since it attempts to provide a plausible justification—a morally or philosophically sufficient reason—for the existence of evil and thereby rebut the “evidential” argument from evil. Richard Swinburne maintains that it does not make sense to assume there are greater goods that justify the evil’s presence in the world unless we know what they are—without knowledge of what the greater goods could be, one cannot have a successful theodicy. Thus, some authors see arguments appealing to demons or the fall of man as indeed logically possible, but not very plausible given our knowledge about the world, and so see those arguments as providing defenses but not good theodicies.


Though of course all of this starts with the mere assumption that a God, the God, my God does in fact exist. Think about it. You are asked to defend this God against the charge of being unloving, unmerciful and unjust -- for some in being a sadistic monster -- given all the terrible pain and suffering inflicted on humankind that is completely beyond their control. Meanwhile you are not even able to provide solid evidence that He exists in the first place.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: theodicy

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:06 pm

No, my problem remains this:

...for the life of me I can no longer come up with a way to reconcile the world as I know it to be with a God, the God other than one who is nothing less than a sadist monster.


Bob wrote: I know it sounds simplistic, but just don’t. What is causing you to bring the hypothesis God into the discussion at all? Is it that you want to protest at people who don’t have the problems with God that you have? Are you angry that people can have some faith in a transcendent power, and you can’t?


Like many of us, I follow the news. And in those headlines are any number of ghastly reminders of all the terrible pain and suffering that is afflicted on men, women and children. Sometimes as a result of the choices we make.

Note to God:

Though not by the innocent children, right?

Sometimes as a result of one or another earthquake, flood, tsunami, volcanic eruption, tornado, etc.

Here, you can read all about them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_disaster

Now, did or did not God create a universe that resulted in planet Earth being able to pummel us with these things over and over and over and over and over again. Including from time to time actual "extinction events" in which most of life -- virtually all life -- around the globe is wiped out.

And sometimes as a result all those terrible medical afflictions or microscopic bacteria and viruses that God created.

Now, two of the reasons some focus on God in regard to the pain and suffering we bring about by ourselves are that...

1] religious fanatics in and of themselves can cause this pain and suffering with regard to the "infidels"...either other religious denominations or those within their own flock who don't behave exactly as they are told to. They can be dealt with from "shunning" all the way up to being beheaded.

2] to the extent that the millions around the globe flock to God for the answer, they are not out in the street protesting political policies sustained by governments that result in the pain and the suffering in the first place. Those, for example, that own and operate the very, very materialist/amoral "show me the money" global economy. Religion seen here from the "opiate of the masses" frame of mind.

And I will read Kastrup when you can note specific examples from his books that address the points I raise on this thread. Examples able to convince me that he is worth pursuing further. Otherwise you are just another Ierrellus or Felix insisting that I should read the authors that they believe will change my mind about how a God, the God that creates natural disasters and ghastly medical afflictions and virulent viruses and does nothing to end the staggering pain and suffering that has ever inundated the human species --- especially among the truly innocent children -- is not a sadistic monster.


Bob wrote: The problem is that you are not going to be helped unless you come away from the poison that ails you. It is a never-ending circle in which you move. If you can only ask one question, and not change to move out of the recurring frustrations, you will remain in your vortex, swirling about yourself in angry vigour, unable to look outside.


Again, making me the problem. That way [as with Ierrellus] you can avoid altogether actually responding to the points I [and others] make about grappling to understand the world as it is and a God said by many to be loving, just and merciful.

How then are you and others not [eventually] back to this:

Pick one:

1] God's mysterious ways
2] Harold Kushner's God

Or, sure, your own explanation.


Bob wrote:
The Legacy of a Truth-Seeker

Having trodden the path for cycles uncountable,
Having crossed the ocean of mind from end to end,
Through all veils, its fountainhead have I finally seen.
To you, honest truth-seeker treading the path behind me, I grant the gift of my legacy.

I have learned thus:
Only untruths can be experienced.
Hence, only untruths can exist.
Truth is fundamentally incompatible with existence
For it is that which gives rise to existence,
As a loudspeaker gives rise to sound.

Experiences are self-referential tricks:
They arise from nothing and are made of nothing.
If you dig deep enough within yourself,
You shall always find the layer of self-deception
Upon which any one of your convictions ultimately rests.

One’s reality sprouts from the first layer of self-deception
That escapes one’s field of critical awareness.
The deeper this field, the more subtle the self-deception.
Those with little critical awareness thus live more colorful lives:
Their fiction is fancier.

The honest search for truth annihilates its own subject
Slowly, recursively, from within.
Having peeled away every layer of self-deception within me,
I have found myself to be like an onion:
Nothing is left.

Only nothing is true.
No external references exist, no outside arbiters.
We are self-created fictions and so is the cosmos.
Truth-seeking is the path to self-annihilation
And thus to liberation.

Rejoice, for your pains, fears, frustrations and regrets
Are all untrue.
There is nothing to fear, nothing to strive for, nothing to regret.
You have no soul; that’s just self-deception.
And you won’t die; that’s just self-deception.

But beware!

As a dream symbolically portrays the inner state of the dreamer,
As a novel insinuates the inner life of the writer,
As a lie betrays the insecurities of the liar,
So the fiction you call reality reveals something about truth.

Thus pay attention to life,
For truth expresses itself only through its own fictions.
To discern truth in fiction: here is the cosmic conundrum!
To engage wholeheartedly without being taken in: here is the ultimate challenge!
To find meaning in nothingness: here is the epic demand of nature!

Partake in reality as an actor in a theatrical play:
With attention, dedication and an open heart.
But never believe yourself to be your character
For characters spend their lives chasing their own shadows,
Whereas actors embody the meaning of existence.

May my legacy serve you as a warning, but also encouragement.
The prize at the end of the path is handsome:
The freedom to make the deliberate, guiltless choice
Of which untruth to live.
Exercising this choice wisely is the art of life.

Kastrup, Bernardo. More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth And Belief (S.238-240). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle-Version.


Are you kidding me? This general description intellectual/spiritual contraption is the example you give me of Kastrup confronting head on the points I make on this thread?!

Exercising what choice given what set of circumstances out in what particular world understood from what particular point of view in regard to God and theodicy?

Or look at the brutal savagery that encompasses all the other creatures in nature. What on earth was God thinking?!

After all, there's nothing at all imaginary about the gruesome pain and suffering.


Bob wrote: God was thinking? Like you or I?


Exactly my point! In nature, the main function of most new born life is to become the food for other creatures. All those cute little turtles scrambling for the sea and only about 1% of them will actually make it back to the island to lay their own eggs. Sometimes God deems it necessary for some creatures to consume their own babies. Or their own mates.

But: What can we possibly know of God's will here? That or Kushner, right?

Though here is the explanation that you have come up with:

Bob wrote: Savagery means “an uncivilized or barbaric state or condition; barbarity.” The creatures in nature are uncivilised, nature is like that. But it was on Christian ethics, regardless of what some people made out of them, that western civilisation was built. Some prophet sat down and said, this world is as it is, but we have the inspiration to change it, at least where we are. What has arisen since then, isn’t perfect, but it is a whole lot better than it was. There is a lot to do.


Unbelievable.

You know, from my point of view.

But you have managed to either think this up yourself or someone else planted it in your head as a child. And, again, it may comfort and console you all the way to the grave. And it puts all the terrible pain and suffering this Christian God has inflicted on humankind over the centuries in just the right perspective.

For you.

The part I root in dasein.

But that's for another thread. This one: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529

Please feel free to join in.

Though, admittedly, part of my reaction here reflects my own inability to rethink myself into believing something just as comforting and consoling.

Bottom line: you come out as the "winner" here because you still can.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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