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      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      Question for theists

      Reasonable theists will readily claim that God acts in mysterious ways, that we cannot know what his ultimate plan actually is.

      Would you still worship God if his ultimate plan was to maximize suffering?
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
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      As a Christian, I do not believe that God's ultimate plan is to maximize suffering. When a Christian states that God works in mysterious ways, what he is often referring to, is the strange course of events that often lead to another. For example, say I have a child, and said child gets cancer and dies. At the time, I might not understand why God would allow this to happen. I might even blame god for taking the child from me! But, say his case became famous, like so many do. Perhaps it gets extra media attention, perhaps in this little scenario, I'm some famous person and the child becomes a mascot for cancer research, and because that one child had to suffer, millions more don't have to. Hence, "God works in mysterious ways."

      And, when one says they don't understand what God's ultimate plan really is, if they are a Christian, I would tell them to look in the Bible, because he pretty much outlines His plan; to do away with the evil in the world, and create a new world where we can all live together in joy and happiness--ie, Heaven.

      ~SilverWolf~
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      I would tell them to look in the Bible, because he pretty much outlines His plan; to do away with the evil in the world, and create a new world where we can all live together in joy and happiness--ie, Heaven.
      so, death to get to "heaven"?

      and you didnt answer OPs question

      my answer being no, as I dont worship, though, i'd play along

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      Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverWolf View Post
      As a Christian, I do not believe that God's ultimate plan is to maximize suffering. When a Christian states that God works in mysterious ways, what he is often referring to, is the strange course of events that often lead to another. For example, say I have a child, and said child gets cancer and dies. At the time, I might not understand why God would allow this to happen. I might even blame god for taking the child from me! But, say his case became famous, like so many do. Perhaps it gets extra media attention, perhaps in this little scenario, I'm some famous person and the child becomes a mascot for cancer research, and because that one child had to suffer, millions more don't have to. Hence, "God works in mysterious ways."

      And, when one says they don't understand what God's ultimate plan really is, if they are a Christian, I would tell them to look in the Bible, because he pretty much outlines His plan; to do away with the evil in the world, and create a new world where we can all live together in joy and happiness--ie, Heaven.

      ~SilverWolf~
      If the Bible provides an outline for God's plan, it is nothing close to providing a world where we can all live together in joy and happiness.

      Your post doesn't answer my question. Regardless of what you think the Bible says, it is unlikely to be the true thoughts of Christianity's version of a divine creator. Would you still worship God if his plan was to maximize suffering?
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      No, I would not. I would also not continue to worship God if I got proof that those who claim that only a small minority will be saved are right. However, I have strong faith in a God who loves all humans, and I shall continue to worship him.
      You may say I'm a dreamer.
      But I'm not the only one
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverWolf View Post
      As a Christian, I do not believe that God's ultimate plan is to maximize suffering.
      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      if
      .
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverWolf View Post
      When a Christian states that God works in mysterious ways, what he is often referring to, is the strange course of events that often lead to another. For example ...
      I understand this. It may seem unfair and stupid but it could still make sense in a way. The God-human relationship could be compared to the parent-child relationship. If he really does have more understanding than we do, you can always say that bad stuff is actually good and we don't understand why. That thought is kind of annoying (being compared to a child and being told your suffering has some purpose) but there's no logical problem with it, I admit. So I hate when atheists bring up the 'argument from evil'.

      I'll just clarify I am am atheist though, I just wouldn't use that argument and I'll back theists up that it's a bad argument.

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      God creates cancer and lets millions of people suffer miserably from it until they die. When enough have died we manage to develop our own cure from the disease he gave us in the first place, so one particular death is 'justified'.

      Sounds legit.

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      Btw, I do not know the answer to the question "If God loves all humans, why is there so much suffering in the world?" I do not believe God caused the suffering. I do not understand why he does not stop or prevent suffering. I suspect that the answer is complex, both the causes and why and why not. My spiritual understanding is not advanced enough to fully understand this. However, this does not make me not believe in God, it just shows me that my understanding is incomplete.
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      But I'm not the only one
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      Yeah, that's the thing. As an extreme example, for all we know our senses of reason could be flawed, and God could realize something about the whole situation that we don't. We could be like dogs finding it unjust that they aren't allowed to run across the street. It's all possible. Of course, I don't see any reason to believe in God in the first place. And I'm glad because that would be awful - giving up your own sense of morality because you trust that God knows what's best. I don't know how Christians do it.

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      Let me preface this by saying that I'm an Atheist.

      "Mysterious ways" could be thought of as a side effect of omniscience. One of the biggest problems with utilitarian ethics which focus on maximizing the most good for the most individuals, is the lack of knowledge. I may choose an action which I believe would do just that, and because my knowledge of the future is imperfect I could indeed have picked the worst possible choice. An omniscient god would not have that problem. Therefore, their actions may seem to cause much suffering while at the same time actually leading to much less total suffering. Of course, we run into the problem of when all that suffering is tallied up. If we did it today, then its not looking too good. If we tally it up a few million years for now, who knows? Add afterlives into the mix and things get really complicated. This seems to me, to be the best explanation for "mysterious ways" but it is still severely lacking.

      The other question is pretty straight forward, but is intended for the theists. Everyone knows the correct answer. Of course, we should oppose an evil god. The next step is the introduction of the Atheist's wager. IE: I will bet on being a good person, for if god is good and so am I then I may be rewarded after death, if god is evil and I am good then he may punish me for arbitrary reasons but such an evil god should be opposed on principle, if god does not exist and I am good then at least I led a good life and left the world a better place than I found it.
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      conclusion = people that believe what the bible says obviously haven't actually read the bible.... or don't know how to think for themselves

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      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      conclusion = people that believe what the bible says obviously haven't actually read the bible.... or don't know how to think for themselves
      The former is closer to the truth. A superficial understanding of one's religion often makes it seem like the greatest positive force in the world.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Ive read the Bible, and Im still a christian. Ive learned to ignore people who spark arguments like this because they are just arrogant. You create a thread so you can argue- thats pathetic. And If Gods ultimate plan was to maximize suffering, well hell, your going down with me and everyone else so i wouldnt care. But seeing the world and all the things in what I believe God created completly goes against your question and makes it irrelevant.You really think God would go through all this trouble in creating and everything else just to make people suffer? If you do thats really sad.
      Last edited by OneUp; 08-23-2013 at 02:49 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      God creates cancer and lets millions of people suffer miserably from it until they die. When enough have died we manage to develop our own cure from the disease he gave us in the first place, so one particular death is 'justified'.

      Sounds legit.
      Man brought sin into the world in the first place, so its not God's fault as much as you want it to be. Dont blame God for what man has done. Man, by sinning, brought sin and every disease and everything bad into the world because of his sinning. God did not give us the disease in the first place, Man did.

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      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      Ive read the Bible, and Im still a christian. Ive learned to ignore people who spark arguments like this because they are just arrogant. You create a thread so you can argue- thats pathetic. And If Gods ultimate plan was to maximize suffering, well hell, your going down with me and everyone else so i wouldnt care. But seeing the world and all the things in what I believe God created completly goes against your question and makes it irrelevant.You really think God would go through all this trouble in creating and everything else just to make people suffer? If you do thats really sad.
      I created the thread to gauge the convictions of the believers participating in this forum.

      My question wasn't "Is God's plan to maximize suffering?" It's "WHAT IF God's plan is to maximize suffering? Would you still worship him?" Would you really not care if the being you believe in and presumably respect more than anything has a plan which only includes the maximization of suffering?
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      I created the thread to gauge the convictions of the believers participating in this forum.

      My question wasn't "Is God's plan to maximize suffering?" It's "WHAT IF God's plan is to maximize suffering? Would you still worship him?" Would you really not care if the being you believe in and presumably respect more than anything has a plan which only includes the maximization of suffering?
      And I answered it with, "If Gods ultimate plan was to maximize suffering, well hell, your going down with me and everyone else so i wouldnt care." so i did answer your question and yet you fail to recognize it. Haha thats sad. I also answered you second question with,"But seeing the world and all the things in what I believe God created completly goes against your question and makes it irrelevant.You really think God would go through all this trouble in creating and everything else just to make people suffer? If you do thats really sad". thats my answer- it wouldnt make sense if He did that because of everything He has already done. Its sad that I have to restate myself because you couldnt read slow enough.

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      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      And I answered it with, "If Gods ultimate plan was to maximize suffering, well hell, your going down with me and everyone else so i wouldnt care." so i did answer your question and yet you fail to recognize it. Haha thats sad. I also answered you second question with,"But seeing the world and all the things in what I believe God created completly goes against your question and makes it irrelevant.You really think God would go through all this trouble in creating and everything else just to make people suffer? If you do thats really sad". thats my answer- it wouldnt make sense if He did that because of everything He has already done. Its sad that I have to restate myself because you couldnt read slow enough.
      I'll repeat the follow-up question since you didn't answer, again. Would you really not care if the being you believe in and presumably respect more than anything has a plan which only includes the maximization of suffering?

      Please note the use of the word "if" in both the original question and the follow-up. This thread has nothing to do with your preconceived notions of what God's plan actually is.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      I'll repeat the follow-up question since you didn't answer, again. Would you really not care if the being you believe in and presumably respect more than anything has a plan which only includes the maximization of suffering?

      Please note the use of the word "if" in both the original question and the follow-up. This thread has nothing to do with your preconceived notions of what God's plan actually is.
      Haha see now to cover yourself your asking a different question than you were at the beginning of the thread. I answered your "if" questions by saying I WOULD NOT CARE because you would be going to hell/suffering right along with me. there you go its in bold so now you wont skim over it.

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      Wait? Let me get this strait.

      I answered your "if" questions by saying I WOULD NOT CARE because you would be going to hell/suffering right along with me.
      So whether or not you care about the proposition that god is trying to maximize suffering is attached to whether or not we are all suffering? That is, we are all getting screwed, so at least I'm no worse off than anyone else? Or rather, that suffering only gets elevated to the level of being something worth caring about if one person suffers more or less than another?

      What "if" God were indeed maximizing suffering and in order to do so, one had to ensure the unequal distribution of suffering. That is, God specifically makes sure that there will be some people who do not suffer at all, some who benefit wildly from the current sate of affairs, and not only do they use their positions of power to elevate themselves by having you shoulder their "share" of suffering but also that their success and well being serve as a reminder that you will never get there. Then we're not all "suffering right along" with you.

      Also, what about the second part of that first question "would you still worship him?"
      Or does "I don't care" also apply here, as in "I would not care to worship"?
      Would it be fair to say that your position may be "what's the point?" in that worshiping such a god gets us nowhere, so there would be no point in either worship or opposition.
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      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      Haha see now to cover yourself your asking a different question than you were at the beginning of the thread. I answered your "if" questions by saying I WOULD NOT CARE because you would be going to hell/suffering right along with me. there you go its in bold so now you wont skim over it.
      That's usually how conversations go. I ask a question, you answer, I ask about the answer. So I asked if you would still worship your God if his ultimate plan was to maximize suffering. You said you wouldn't care* since we're going to hell anyway. Now I'm asking why you've reached that conclusion and whether you truly believe it. It has taken me a few posts to squeeze an answer out of you so I'm not even sure it's worth it anymore.

      *Wouldn't care about what, exactly? That his plan is to maximize suffering? Or about worshipping him due to his plan? Elaborate on that if you would.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Quote Originally Posted by SuperOhm View Post
      Wait? Let me get this strait.



      So whether or not you care about the proposition that god is trying to maximize suffering is attached to whether or not we are all suffering? That is, we are all getting screwed, so at least I'm no worse off than anyone else? Or rather, that suffering only gets elevated to the level of being something worth caring about if one person suffers more or less than another?

      What "if" God were indeed maximizing suffering and in order to do so, one had to ensure the unequal distribution of suffering. That is, God specifically makes sure that there will be some people who do not suffer at all, some who benefit wildly from the current sate of affairs, and not only do they use their positions of power to elevate themselves by having you shoulder their "share" of suffering but also that their success and well being serve as a reminder that you will never get there. Then we're not all "suffering right along" with you.

      Also, what about the second part of that first question "would you still worship him?"
      Or does "I don't care" also apply here, as in "I would not care to worship"?
      Would it be fair to say that your position may be "what's the point?" in that worshiping such a god gets us nowhere, so there would be no point in either worship or opposition.
      Thats why its an "IF" question. If God were to MAXIMIZE suffering, then ultimately, maximizing, (which is making something the most largest and widespread it can get) would mean He would have to make everyone suffer, is your defintion of Maximize generally different from mine?

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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      That's usually how conversations go. I ask a question, you answer, I ask about the answer. So I asked if you would still worship your God if his ultimate plan was to maximize suffering. You said you wouldn't care* since we're going to hell anyway. Now I'm asking why you've reached that conclusion and whether you truly believe it. It has taken me a few posts to squeeze an answer out of you so I'm not even sure it's worth it anymore.

      *Wouldn't care about what, exactly? That his plan is to maximize suffering? Or about worshipping him due to his plan? Elaborate on that if you would.
      I wasnt carrying out a conversation with you, only answering a question in one reply(tried to at least) . Of course now we are having a conversation though. Its an "IF" question so it doesnt matter whether or not I believe it. Why are you questioning me about my answer? I replied with it so obviously i was sure about it. And if our conversation is not worth it anymore, than your reply was worthless and unecessary. When I said i would care about it, I meant His "plan to maximize suffering".

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      I know this will be felt as disrespectful and I´m not even sure it is a worthwhile endeavour to point things like the following out - the "theodicee-question" usually doesn´t bother believers.
      Trying to find out how this can be accomplished - I´d like to hear your answers to my questions.
      If I only manage to heighten awareness for some dissonances - then something is accomplished in my book.

      Okay - please correct me if my assumptions are incorrect and how you would rather see these things:

      Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverWolf View Post
      As a Christian, I do not believe that God's ultimate plan is to maximize suffering. When a Christian states that God works in mysterious ways, what he is often referring to, is the strange course of events that often lead to another. For example, say I have a child, and said child gets cancer and dies. At the time, I might not understand why God would allow this to happen. I might even blame god for taking the child from me! But, say his case became famous, like so many do. Perhaps it gets extra media attention, perhaps in this little scenario, I'm some famous person and the child becomes a mascot for cancer research, and because that one child had to suffer, millions more don't have to. Hence, "God works in mysterious ways."

      And, when one says they don't understand what God's ultimate plan really is, if they are a Christian, I would tell them to look in the Bible, because he pretty much outlines His plan; to do away with the evil in the world, and create a new world where we can all live together in joy and happiness--ie, Heaven.

      ~SilverWolf~

      But you do assume God is almighty and omniscient - don´t you?
      And that he did create this world.
      So - why would he have to create a new world without evil?
      Did he create "evil"?
      If so - why?
      If not - where does it come from?
      How could something come from us, without him creating it, if he did create us?
      So - where does it come from if he is really omnipotent - why does it not make poof and all evil is gone right here and now?
      Why does he have to fight?


      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      Ive read the Bible, and Im still a christian. Ive learned to ignore people who spark arguments like this because they are just arrogant. You create a thread so you can argue- thats pathetic. And If Gods ultimate plan was to maximize suffering, well hell, your going down with me and everyone else so i wouldnt care. But seeing the world and all the things in what I believe God created completly goes against your question and makes it irrelevant.You really think God would go through all this trouble in creating and everything else just to make people suffer? If you do thats really sad.
      What I fattened first is sort of nice - I know you didn´t mean it like that - but the still is telling..
      And - concerning all the trouble and everything else - see above - if his ultimate goal as outlined in the bible was to get us all (?) into an ultimate paradise where there is no evil - why have "evil" in the first place?
      A game?

      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      Man brought sin into the world in the first place, so its not God's fault as much as you want it to be. Dont blame God for what man has done. Man, by sinning, brought sin and every disease and everything bad into the world because of his sinning. God did not give us the disease in the first place, Man did.
      Again - if we are his creation - how can we do something and it is not his fault?
      Also - wasn´t it the Satan and his serpent who brought man to commit this first sin?
      Where does he come from?
      If not from God - he must be another God in this system - and that contradicts badly with "there is only one God".
      How can it be, God has to fight somebody?

      What is evil in your opinion, who is Satan and where in hell - (soz) did he come from?

    25. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by BLUELINE976 View Post
      Reasonable theists ....
      Already too mindfucked to keep reading.
      loik likes this.

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