a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

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a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Shelley on Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:14 pm

I was recently in a discussion with a friend about atheism, and he argued that many of my arguments against the existence of god could be eliminated if he posited a god who is every bit as flawed, venal, and incompetent as humans. He proposed that god is not all-seeing, all-good, and all knowing, but rather is jealous, angry, indifferent, selfish, mercurial, and not a very good architect. My friend argues that much of the bible and many historical descriptions of god support this characterization as does the poor design of much of "creation."

Has anyone come across this argument before, and if so, how did you handle it?


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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Clint on Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:32 am

You're asking for the good old Epicurean Paradox, I think.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Shelley on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:27 am

An interesting argument, Clint, but it depends on how one defines god, no? For some people, god is simply the creator and that would be reason enough to call it god. Why must god be good and loving to be god? Those descriptions are pretty new-testament.

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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Matthew on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:35 am

I would ask, "If such a being exists, would he be worthy of praise? How could he have inspired the uplifting parts of the Bible (even though he could clearly inspire the less uplifting)?" It seems the only quality he withheld from the trash was "all-powerful". Then we have nothing but a capricious bully who... does what? Inflicts pain, but no solace?

If this is the case, all he has posited is the existence of Zeus+creator and that was dealt with by the Greek philosophers.

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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Sosa on Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:24 am

There is still no evidence for that kind of god.

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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  2buckchuck on Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:55 am

If you choose to imagine a very powerful "being" (is this a single entity or a member of some race of powerful beings?) capable of creating the universe that is neither omniscient nor omnipotent, this is certainly a logical possibility, although no evidence for (or against) such a being is presently available. All the major monotheistic religions postulate a supernatural deity that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Given those infinite capabilities, it's apparent that this being can't be the one described in all the sacred texts, because that psychotic, homicidal bastard isn't even close to being worthy of worship! That putative 'deity' embraces genocide, infantocide, misogyny, infanticide, self-mutilation, rape, slavery, etc., and has created humans for the express purpose of spending eternity in torment.

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"An 'evil' god.......

Post  corynski on Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:58 pm

Hello Shelley

It wasn't but a few days ago I was listening to Premier Radio of England, to this broadcast:

http://media.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/3ad5f46f-e8c4-4ef5-85c8-37429f399c86.mp3

and at about 35 minutes into the program the idea of an 'evil' god was advanced and discussed. It's a good show with many other ideas too.

Apparently Steven Law discusses the 'evil god' theory in his blog 'Manicstreetpreacher', here:

http://edthemanicstreetpreacher.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/stephen-law-evil-god-challenge/

"It is hard to see why an all-powerful, all-good God would unleash so much suffering upon the sentient creatures of Earth over hundreds of millions of years.  Why not posit an all-powerful, all-evil God to explain all this suffering, as many religions have done?"

Regards.....

charley



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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  Aught3 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:24 pm

Shelley wrote:I was recently in a discussion with a friend about atheism, and he argued that many of my arguments against the existence of god could be eliminated if he posited a god who is every bit as flawed, venal, and incompetent as humans. He proposed that god is not all-seeing, all-good, and all knowing, but rather is jealous, angry, indifferent, selfish, mercurial, and not a very good architect. My friend argues that much of the bible and many historical descriptions of god support this characterization as does the poor design of much of "creation."

Has anyone come across this argument before, and if so, how did you handle it?
Is your friend Jewish?

Atheists (generally speaking) are atheists because of a lack of evidence for god. There are some interesting arguments against certain gods but ultimately, like the dragon in the garage, a completely mutable concept can be made consistent with any objection raised against it. The point I would make to him is to ask why he would worship a being just as flawed as he is? If this god character exhibits none of our better qualities then I can't see how he can help us with any of our mortal problems.

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Re: a 'different' argument for the existence of god??

Post  corynski on Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:24 am

Hello Aught3

That sounds quite reasonable, if only reason would carry the argument. My family was catholic, and nothing, certainly nothing such as genocide or eternal damnation would convince them that God was evil, mythological or non-existent, or anything but what the Pope said He was. Even passages in the Bible such as God killing people by throwing down hailstones on them, or angels killing 185,000 in one night, would be suggestive of an 'evil' God. God may do evil, but it's OK because He's God.....

Basic core belief seems to stem from early indoctrination by family and friends, reinforced by ubiquitous signs and symbols in the environment, some reputed to be 'miraculous', but certainly not from reason. I mentioned elsewhere that I thought perhaps there was an evolutionary advantage to being a believer, from the group solidarity under a deity regardless of whether the deity was real or not. And 'God' is not even required to 'show up' as proof of being, I suppose because 'God' had done that already 2000 years ago.

And I'd guess religion worked well to solidify the group, mostly because there was no way of knowing if 'God' were real or not. Hallucinated voices of past leaders may have occurred to furnish 'proof' of a God. This lasted until the Middle Ages and the Inquisition and such, when science and reason finally became apparent and validated. A scientific method was developed to distinguish between reality and illusion.

It would seem that reason would be a better way to rule than superstition and myth, even though we humans are not necessarily reasonable all the time either .......

charley

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