[….]since the order of the world is shaped by death, mightn’t it be better for god if we refuse to believe in him and struggle with all our might against death, without raising our eyes toward the heaven where he sits in silence.Albert Camus, The Plague
that all that happens is god’s doing, i see no reason why anyone should be punished for doing what god has made them do. Jeff Bohlender in the liked post has written and I quote
God makes us what we are, places us where we are, and operates our operating, even if it still seems to us that we’re “doing” things. Growth in our experience happens when God brings us into conscious enjoyment of Him as the Source and Operator of all existence, of which we all are a part. Growth in faith comes through hearing and believing God, Who gives ears to hear and belief in the heart.
which i think is consistent with omnibenevolence as nothing would stop a god from achieving it ends, ie omnipotence and the said god would know all outcomes- omniscience-. Are religious people ready to accept the conclusions that must be drawn from the premise that everything that happens is god’s will?
Justin wants you to know that god is present in your suffering and sees the future even if you can’t. So stop complaining.
An argument has been made by theists and Justin repeats it, that why do atheists complain about suffering if we live in an indifferent world. This question does seem to me to miss the point. The atheist is telling the theist, you have made such and such claims about the universe and were that the case, the following should be expected as matter of course. In an indifferent universe, suffering is embedded in the nature of the universe. In a world with an omnibenevolent being, suffering is allowed to exist. And if that is the case, then either god is not willing or not able to eradicate suffering.
Justin says because there are many arguments for god, god must exist. No argument would be necessary for god were the existence of god obvious.
He quotes this statement of CS Lewis
My argument against god was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust. A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust.
Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, my argument against god collapsed too- for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancy. Thus in the very act in trying to prove god did not exist, in other words that whole reality was senseless, I found was forced to assume that one part of reality- namely, my idea of justice- was full of sense.
First, was he a theist or atheist? Leaving that aside, do we really need transcendence to say this is not fair? Is a toothache the order of things so that one can’t complain if they have a toothache? Must a god be posited to claim that a toothache is pointless? My idea of justice as a reasonable person leads me to the conclusion that we live in an indifferent universe where unless humanity works together to alleviate the suffering of others, their pain and burden becomes unbearable.
Jeff’s favorite argument. Freewill. Justin wants us to believe that it would be a greater evil for god to intervene, which we are told he has done before, than to allow freewill. Basically, we are told to accept that god is inadequate in coming up with scenarios where we maintain our idea of freewill without causing harm to others or ourselves. Where is omnipotence and omniscience when you need it? To Justin it was better in the eyes of god for the African holocaust to happen because of freewill than to intervene to stop it. How many of you find this argument convincing?
Justin says we live in a spiritual war zone and also that suffering draws people to god. I don’t know about you. But for me, there is no logical contradiction in a world where there is a god and there is no suffering. There is nothing that would come in the way of an omnipotent god who wanted to draw people to himself. No human connivance would prevent this from happening.
I don’t know if I have said it before, but I like quora. Generally it’s a good site. There are also unbelievable stories that I have read on there that I have usually suspected must be by some bored fellow living in a basement where light never shines.
Anyway I have seen a question on quora and I think some people should not have internet. A guy has asked
If god doesn’t exist, how do atheists explain that the coronavirus outbreak emerged in a non Christian country? Why do search outbreaks never emerge in Christian countries
This link from WHO is a good place to start. And I thought measles was eradicated? What the hell Europe?
Back to the question, I thought if god exists, it is everywhere. So god must have caused the outbreak. Let’s hope no Christian dies😁
There is a devastating locust outbreak in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, how is this to be treated?
Well, who knew scientists were polled and their verdict was it is rational to believe in god. So Brian and Jeff, find the nearest church near you and ask to join.
Will Jones opening salvo is a fallacious argument. The bible says there is a god and the bible says it is rational to believe in its god. You can see where there is going. Downhill all the way! Jones calls as his witnesses Plato and Aristotle but unfortunately this doesn’t help his cause. To Aristotle, the number of gods could be 47 or 55. This is not all for Diagoras and Theodoras flatly denied that there were any gods at all and many other ancient philosophers did not agree on the nature of god(s).
Had the being of god been obvious, there would have been no need for apologetics. Jones tells us
However, Bible-believing Christians have generally stuck by the classical and biblical view that the existence of God is something for which sufficient reasons are supplied by the light of nature.
which is interesting because humanity have managed to explain things that were believed to belong to the domain of the gods but Christians have stuck to their old conceptions as if time has remained static and we have collectively as a race done nothing towards knowledge acquisition.
Jones disagrees with Spufford whom he quotes as having written
No, I can’t prove it,’ Spufford says. ‘I don’t know if there’s a God (and neither do you, and neither does Professor Dawkins . . . it isn’t the kind of thing you can know. It isn’t a knowable item).’
and calls the above anti-rational idea which tells me he would disagree also with Pascal who in his Pensees argues reason can help you make the ascent to the being of a god. You must forget reason. And have faith. While we are here, I don’t know of anyone who became a believer because he heard Francis Collins is a believer. In fact, this post by Ark might be helpful on this point.
Seeing that his arguments lack substance, Jones then calls as a witness to his god the fine tuning argument. Any argument that depends on an inference of design a posteriori was dealt a blow by Hume many years ago. Maybe if Jones had read Hume, he might not have called this witness to the stand. This is the only fine tuning argument I am willing to get behind.
In a world with an omni god as the Christians claim their god is, free will is not possible. While Jones want us to believe that without his god, we can’t have morals, he forgets that eons passed before some desert goat herders dreamed their religion and some European missionaries decided to spread this nonsense around the world.
While I agree with the first part of this statement
Ultimately, Francis Spufford is wrong about human beings: we are not entirely controlled by our feelings, and reason is not and ought not to be, as David Hume had it, ‘the slave of the passions’. Whatever else we are, we are rational animals, possessed of a reasoning mind, capable of recognizing and responding to truth when we see it, including the truth of God.
it shouldn’t be lost on us that Jones intended to demonstrate that belief in god is rational. This he has failed to do.
Seasoned apologist John Lennox spoke at Coventry Cathedral recently on the evidence for a Creator, and a colleague of mine went along with an atheist friend. Afterwards the friend turned to him and said: ‘I now believe in a Creator God.’ That is the power of truth.
is funny. Who would believe such drivel really?
Nietzsche is very playful. I think he must have laughed as he wrote the very playful sections of that book.
Take for instance the part where Zarathustra says laughter killed the gods when one of them said there’s no gods but god.
In part four in conversation with the retired pope, Zarathustra says pity for man killed god, that is, god could not stand the man on the cross and died out of pity. In the same place he says
He was a concealed god, addicted to secrecy. Verily, even a son he got himself in a sneaky way. At the door of his faith stands adultery.
Elsewhere he writes about god this
When he was young, this god out of the Orient, he was harsh and vengeful and he built himself a hell to amuse his favorites. Eventually, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitying, more like a grandfather, but most like a shaky grandmother. Then he sat in his nook by the hearth, wilted, grieving over his weak legs, weary of the world, and one day he choked on his all too great pity.
And finally on love( especially the way Christians and religious people don’t tire to tell us god is love, Zarathustra says
Whoever praises him as a god of love does not have a high enough opinion of love itself. Did this god not want to be a judge too? But the lover loves beyond reward and retribution.
Have yourselves a humorous day, won’t you!
Since it appears this site is not theist friendly I have a question for non theists but theists are welcome to contribute if they so wish.
Can one believe there is a god and not be committed to that belief? The corollary is of course obvious, it seems to me likely that people can be committed to the belief in god even though the existence of gods is doubtful at the least and their non existence highly likely.
Do Christians, Muslims and those in Judaism believe in the same god?
Is it the wish of the same god that there exists different competing sects, each with absolute truth on its side?
If the gods are different, are they all omnibenevolent?
Many an African theologians have argued that the gods of African religion were also omnibenevolent, is it the case then that we have many omni gods?
And my favorite subject, is there a resolution of the problem of evil or does the Epicurean problem remain as unsolved problem for theism?
Now some of you visit quora as often as I do. Some of you don’t. That’s also ok. So today I saw this question which at first glance I think is dumb. On second reading, I still think it is dumb but it raises a very interesting question; nature of existence.
First the question
Why do we believe in the existence of atheism and not the existence of god.
My first reaction was does this investigator know what atheism is. Defined simply as a lack of belief in deities, it does seem to me atheism, if it exists, it does so only as an idea. A concept. Or as others might say, as a conclusion. In what sense then do we say an idea exists? My view is that an idea exists as long as it has been defined or expressed somewhere even if no one still holds onto it. It is not subject dependent.
What gods are, we don’t know. Unless by tying the two questions together, the investigator meant to also argue that god exists only as an idea in our minds but has no separate existence in time and space. If this is not the case, the question, I think is fallacious (equivocation?) in some way even if I can’t pin it down.
Now I come to the reason why I said the question is interesting. Philosophers have argued over the same question and identified two areas which because I am lazy I will just quote and I hope you do the reading when you have time.
Is existence a property of individuals? and
Assuming that existence is a property of individuals, are there individuals that lack it?
Or maybe I missed something.
There has been a huge debate by others more lettered than yours truly on what constitutes African philosophy and going far as to ask whether such a description is even necessary, arguing for example, that there is no African math or chemistry or physics. You get the drift. I am not going to concern myself with that question here. Anyone interested in the discussions around it can look for works by Wiredi, Masolo, Odera Oruka, Oriare Nyarwath, Alexis Kagame, Lucius Outlaw and many others.
In his book, Sage Philosophy, Odera Oruka interviewed people he considered sages and transcribed their views on many subjects. In this post, I concern myself only with their views on death and god(s).
One saw death as a good because through natural attrition, space is created for others and thus avoiding overpopulation (I wish he read population data- there are more births than deaths p.a, at least in Kenya). He also believed that we are all part of one universal soul that is called god. Further, he says god is one except each people have their own name for god. This sage also said we all speak different languages because if we had one tongue, we would see ourselves superior to god- tower of Babel anyone?
There is, I think, Christian influence in the ideas of this next sage. For example he says about death being good because it is the work of god and further he believes in an afterlife arguing that to die is to be called by god.
Death is the end of man, says our next sage. And it is an evil. He goes so far as to say had we the power to evade death, we would. We try to put off our death through use of medicine and all. God exists as thought and does not have forms (Christians, Judaists and Muslims you have your work set out for you to explain how we are made in the image of god). There is a contradiction however because the same sage argues that god created the sun.
God belongs to the whole world and should not be worshiped everyday or every Friday/Saturday or Sunday as Muslims, Jews and Christians do but should be worshiped occasionally and for special reasons.
God exists because people talk about it. God is one and belongs to all people otherwise we would see discrimination in the distribution of such natural gifts as rain and sunshine (and earthquakes and tsunamis). This mzee’s idea of death is what I loved the most. I will quote
Many people argue that life is good and the better of the two. It is in living that mankind multiplies itself. And as we said earlier on, it is in life that man realizes himself as man. But I think that death is of greater gain. Death is eternal and everlasting in its nature. While life is a short-term process with an inevitable deadline and doomsday, death is a permanent state. In death, there is a completeness of being.
God is one for all people but should be worshiped occasionally when there is need. Peris adds that we each experience and interpret god in our own ways.
Simiyu Chaungo argued that death is neither good not bad. You have no choice on the matter, whether you want it or not, you die. He believed in the existence of a god and further that god could be the sun given that the sun shines its light everywhere. On religions, he said there is just some little truth in them but not much.
Mzee Oruka Rang’inya argued it is quite wrong to personalize god. It is an idea, a useful idea. To him, god represents the idea of goodness itself and to this end, it is useful as a concept. He believed that secularists were not right thinking people for religion had practical utility. Death is like how a farmer thins his maize farm. It gives the younger generation more scope and opportunity to develop themselves. The idea of heaven is fictitious. Upon death, life of man ceases.
To Mzee Kithanje believed there is one god for everyone and that the idea of many religions doesn’t make sense. God is like warmth and cold that brings life. He believed that the sperm of a man was hot and the ovum cold and the fusion of the two brings forth life, so is god.
Ker Mbuya Akoko said the Luo regarded Nyasaye as omnipresent and it is the white people who brought fragmentation into religion by bringing different denominations. He further says the Luo were wrong in thinking their Nyasaye was different from the god of the white people. He argues that their is one god because if there were many gods, there would be chaos resulting from each god pulling in different directions (I think he was not acquainted with Greek mythology).
And lastly Chaungo Barasa on the other hand argued that without man, there would be no god. He sees god as a filler for our ignorance. He says, and I quote
We do not have a particular entity, an external being called god. God then is a substitute for what is beyond mind (ignorance if you like. My emphasis). That is, if man were to pursue and realize the state of intellectual perfection, the mystery of god would be revealed.
I don’t know about you, but I did find the ideas of these men and women quite interesting to say the least. That some of them seem to question the existence of god as a physical being or entirely makes the argument put forth by the Late Canon Mbiti in African Religions and Philosophy that the African is deeply religious and where he is there is religion not entirely true. It would be of great intellectual interest if such interviews were conducted in the rest of Africa though I think we are time barred.
Happy Saturday everyone, free of the gods and fear of death,