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General Discussion => Apologetics and Theology => Topic started by: Brunswick on January 17, 2011, 05:18:10 am

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Brunswick on January 17, 2011, 05:18:10 am
One objection that atheists often make to hell is that it is overkill, because God would be sending someone to hell for an eternity as punishment for sins that they committed during a finite amount of time in this life.  One response that I have often heard from Christians is that it doesn't matter how long it takes one to commit a crime, the punishment is initiated based on the magnitude of the crime.  Ergo, a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely great punishment.

It seems that the Christian's line of reasoning commits the fallacy of equivocation, because the Christian is using two different definitions of "infinite" in their defense: infinite in regards to greatness, and infinite in regards to duration.  Therefore, to claim that a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely long punishment is equivocation, because this line of reasoning uses both definitions of infinite.  

Thoughts?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 17, 2011, 05:59:13 am
I use a different approach to explain my problem with that.  This analogy may help:

Imagine that your a con artist and you steal 1000$ from a poor family that has taken years to save that much.

Then imagine that you are a con artist and you steal 1000$ from Bill Gates.

Which of those 2 crimes should be more severely punished ?  They are the exact same crime, do they really both deserve the same punishment ?

Now, imagine that you are a con artist and you steal 1000$ from someone who has unlimited money.

Does this crime deserve the same punishment as the 2 above ?

Basically, if God has an unlimited amount of good, then there should be nothing that we can do that could offend him.  Its like an ant trying to bite a tank.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Andreas Engström on January 17, 2011, 06:20:25 am
jbiemans wrote: I use a different approach to explain my problem with that.  This analogy may help:

Imagine that your a con artist and you steal 1000$ from a poor family that has taken years to save that much.

Then imagine that you are a con artist and you steal 1000$ from Bill Gates.

Which of those 2 crimes should be more severely punished ?  They are the exact same crime, do they really both deserve the same punishment ?

Now, imagine that you are a con artist and you steal 1000$ from someone who has unlimited money.

Does this crime deserve the same punishment as the 2 above ?

Basically, if God has an unlimited amount of good, then there should be nothing that we can do that could offend him.  Its like an ant trying to bite a tank.

So you mean that God should not care about the things taking place on this earth, mass murder, torture all the way down to say lying? He should on your view just decide to not care about it all on the basis that he is so extremly great. Is that correct or have I read things into what you are saying that you are not saying?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Filip Prsic on January 17, 2011, 07:30:33 am
As far as I know, most apologists today do not think God is literally "infinitely" great.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 08:42:59 am
Brunswick wrote: One objection that atheists often make to hell is that it is overkill, because God would be sending someone to hell for an eternity as punishment for sins that they committed during a finite amount of time in this life.  One response that I have often heard from Christians is that it doesn't matter how long it takes one to commit a crime, the punishment is initiated based on the magnitude of the crime.  Ergo, a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely great punishment.

It seems that the Christian's line of reasoning commits the fallacy of equivocation, because the Christian is using two different definitions of "infinite" in their defense: infinite in regards to greatness, and infinite in regards to duration.  Therefore, to claim that a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely long punishment is equivocation, because this line of reasoning uses both definitions of infinite.  

Thoughts?


I think this response is wholly appropriate. When I first read this portion of Dr. Craig's response, this fallacy jumped right out at me. However,  I think Christians still have some options available to answer objectors to hell:

(1) It could be argued that punishment goes on because the more punishment is given, the more the reprobate continue to hate God. The more they continue to hate God, the more punishment they deserve. Thus, "Hell is locked from the inside".

(2) Perhaps our doctrine of hell needs altering.  There are plenty of brilliant theologians who have contended that hell is not eternal and that you can explain those verses away that seem to suggest it is.  I have read a good book on this topic called Four Views on Hell where scholars present their positions on hell and then they comment on each of the others presentation.    

(3) One could possibly adopt a sort of corrective view of hell. I personally find this option to be extreme and an option I wouldn't personally endorse.  But some (though a minority, I think)  believes all people will be saved and hell is a temporary place.  Some verses seem to suggest this,

"Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (Rom. 5:18-19)

This can get messy theologically, but it is a possible route to take if our backs are up against the wall.


(4) An even more extreme view would be to reject Biblical inerrancy and so reject the doctrine of hell. You'd have to explain away Jesus saying in Matt. 25:46 as unhistorical or we have misinterpretted.  

I would probably go for (1) or (2).  

But the point is, don't let hell be a wall between you and your acceptance of Christianity and of Christ because there are plenty of routes that steer clear of your objections.  

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 17, 2011, 09:23:55 am

forthelord wrote: ...But the point is, don't let hell be a wall between you and your acceptance of Christianity and of Christ because there are plenty of routes that steer clear of your objections.

This seems to me (preceding text included) to be very similar to saying that there are plenty of places to move the goalposts.  Is that a good thing?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 09:33:54 am
wonderer wrote:

Quote from: forthelord
...But the point is, don't let hell be a wall between you and your acceptance of Christianity and of Christ because there are plenty of routes that steer clear of your objections.

This seems to me (preceding text included) to be very similar to saying that there are plenty of places to move the goalposts.  Is that a good thing?


I'll take it you're a physicalist right?  Now, pretend that you have good reasons to think that physicalism is true and I present the following argument:

(1) Persons have free will.
(2) Physical systems are causally determinate.
(3) Incompatibilism is true with respect to persons.
(4) Therefore, persons are not physical systems.

There are many viable options to escape dualism. You could:

(1) Deny free will.
(2) You can appeal to quantum indeterminacy to deny that physical systems are causally determinate at the fundemental level.
(3) You could believe that determinism and free will are compatible.

So, this argument against physicalism shouldn't be a great obstacle towards your acceptance of physicalism especially when many of these routes are very plausible.

I'm not saying that we need to only appeal to the possible to refute something, I'm saying that you have your work cut out for you if you want to show hell falsifies Christianity.  If you want to do that, you have to show that each escape route is untenable.  I personally find the first two options I gave to be quite plausible.  Eternal hell is workable in theory, but I think anihilationism is a Biblical position.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 17, 2011, 10:02:03 am
So you mean that God should not care about the things taking place on this earth, mass murder, torture all the way down to say lying? He should on your view just decide to not care about it all on the basis that he is so extremly great. Is that correct or have I read things into what you are saying that you are not saying?

Yes, you read too much into it.  I was not trying to say that God shouldn't care, but rather that it should not be offensive to him, no matter what happens on earth, it is insignificant in comparison to God, right ?

The common argument against the problem of evil is that heaven is so great it will eclipse all the suffering here and now (not that I accept that).  In this way, God is so great, he should be able to excuse and correct all wrong doings against him without flinching.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Maxeo on January 17, 2011, 01:00:35 pm
Brunswick wrote: One objection that atheists often make to hell is that it is overkill, because God would be sending someone to hell for an eternity as punishment for sins that they committed during a finite amount of time in this life.  One response that I have often heard from Christians is that it doesn't matter how long it takes one to commit a crime, the punishment is initiated based on the magnitude of the crime.  Ergo, a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely great punishment.

It seems that the Christian's line of reasoning commits the fallacy of equivocation, because the Christian is using two different definitions of "infinite" in their defense: infinite in regards to greatness, and infinite in regards to duration.  Therefore, to claim that a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely long punishment is equivocation, because this line of reasoning uses both definitions of infinite.  

Thoughts?

If an offense against an infinite quality requires an infinite punishment equal to that quality and if that quality of a punishment requires an infinite duration then there's no problem.  This was Thomas' position.  I think it's an argument to be made but I prefer Craig's finite punishment but infinite number of sins to incur an infinite punishment.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Filip Prsic on January 17, 2011, 02:36:27 pm
forthelord wrote:
(1) It could be argued that punishment goes on because the more punishment is given, the more the reprobate continue to hate God. The more they continue to hate God, the more punishment they deserve. Thus, "Hell is locked from the inside".


You're demonizing non-Christians. Virtually no one is so evil they would refuse to repent for the whole eternity. That's a load of nonsense.




Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 02:58:47 pm
gunman wrote:
You're demonizing non-Christians. Virtually no one is so evil they would refuse to repent for the whole eternity. That's a load of nonsense.


Those are the only type of people that will end up in hell.  The the more God punishes the reprobate, the more they grow in their hatred towards God-this seems to make sense given what we know about human nature.   People who would not continue to hate God the more they are punished aren't the type of people that end up in hell.  

Of course, I myself only defend the coherence of that doctrine.  I tend to side with the annihilationists and believe that the reprobate will simply be destroyed.  Unless you're willing to go scholarly toe-to-toe with annihilationist Biblical scholars, you can't reject Christianity on the basis of eternal hell because, for all you know, the Bible may not even teach eternal hell.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 17, 2011, 03:22:08 pm
being finite beings though, we cannot commit an infinite number of sins, so it sounds like you agree that a finite number of sins is not worthy of an infinite punishment. ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 03:23:49 pm

jbiemans wrote: being finite beings though, we cannot commit an infinite number of sins, so it sounds like you agree that a finite number of sins is not worthy of an infinite punishment. ?


If you are talking to me, then yes, I don't think finite sins require infinine punishment.  However, a potentially infinite number of sins requires a potentially infinite number of punishments.  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 17, 2011, 04:04:45 pm
If you are talking to me, then yes, I don't think finite sins require infinine punishment.  However, a potentially infinite number of sins requires a potentially infinite number of punishments.  


I actually agree with you.  My problem is that no human is capable of a potentially infinite number of sins.  Maybe humanity as a whole, but not individually.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Dan Stewart on January 17, 2011, 04:20:55 pm
Brunswick wrote: One objection that atheists often make to hell is that it is overkill, because God would be sending someone to hell for an eternity as punishment for sins that they committed during a finite amount of time in this life.  One response that I have often heard from Christians is that it doesn't matter how long it takes one to commit a crime, the punishment is initiated based on the magnitude of the crime.  Ergo, a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely great punishment.

It seems that the Christian's line of reasoning commits the fallacy of equivocation, because the Christian is using two different definitions of "infinite" in their defense: infinite in regards to greatness, and infinite in regards to duration.  Therefore, to claim that a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely long punishment is equivocation, because this line of reasoning uses both definitions of infinite.  

Thoughts?

So then you think it's an equivocation fallacy when a petty thief is sentenced to a month in jail, and a rapist is sentence to life?

There is no fallacy. Punishment only need be just; that's the only requirement. It need not be to your liking.

Either demonstrate that infinite punishment for infinite crime is unjust or give up. Your false accusations will only serve to help you delude yourself a little. Is it worth the effort?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Andreas Engström on January 17, 2011, 04:23:04 pm
jbiemans wrote:
So you mean that God should not care about the things taking place on this earth, mass murder, torture all the way down to say lying? He should on your view just decide to not care about it all on the basis that he is so extremly great. Is that correct or have I read things into what you are saying that you are not saying?

Yes, you read too much into it.  I was not trying to say that God shouldn't care, but rather that it should not be offensive to him, no matter what happens on earth, it is insignificant in comparison to God, right ?

The common argument against the problem of evil is that heaven is so great it will eclipse all the suffering here and now (not that I accept that).  In this way, God is so great, he should be able to excuse and correct all wrong doings against him without flinching.

But in correcting the errors it seem to me that God indeed needs to punish the wrongdoer, and hence you so to say end up in hell even on your view. May I ask, is it the infinity of hell that is your problem or is it that God is punishing at all? Or perhaps both.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Dan Stewart on January 17, 2011, 04:25:08 pm
Suppose one of you clowns succeeds. What do you deserve?

Supposing you should actually succeed in misleading an individual, so they reject truth and land in the bad place. What do you deserve?

People just don't think

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 04:54:37 pm
jbiemans wrote:
If you are talking to me, then yes, I don't think finite sins require infinine punishment.  However, a potentially infinite number of sins requires a potentially infinite number of punishments.  


I actually agree with you.  My problem is that no human is capable of a potentially infinite number of sins.  Maybe humanity as a whole, but not individually.


The scenerio would be that as God punishes people for the sins of this life, this only increases their hatred for God (perhaps how a punishment given to a disobedient child only makes them angrier).  Hating God is a sin, and so they must be punished further.  Which means that they grow even more in their hatred towards God. This process continues ad infinitum and is therefore a potentially infinite number of sins.  On this view, hell is locked from the inside.  

In any case, this is only a theoretical problem for us with annihilationist inclinations.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: lancia on January 17, 2011, 05:38:10 pm
forthelord wrote:
The scenerio would be that as God punishes people for the sins of this life, this only increases their hatred for God (perhaps how a punishment given to a disobedient child only makes them angrier).  Hating God is a sin, and so they must be punished further.  Which means that they grow even more in their hatred towards God. This process continues ad infinitum and is therefore a potentially infinite number of sins.  On this view, hell is locked from the inside.

But, all it takes is one person in hell who does not continue to hate God to undermine this “solution.” Don’t you think that it is possible that at least one person in hell doesn’t continue to hate God indefinitely and so would not deserve eternal punishment under this scenario?

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 17, 2011, 06:44:09 pm
But in correcting the errors it seem to me that God indeed needs to punish the wrongdoer, and hence you so to say end up in hell even on your view. May I ask, is it the infinity of hell that is your problem or is it that God is punishing at all? Or perhaps both.
I have a problem with a few things

1) "The wrongdoer" as you put it can be anything from telling a little white lie, to stealing a penny candy, to being gay, to being born into another religion, being a murder, etc, and simply not believing that God exists because you don't find the evidence compelling.  I cannot accept that any crime is worth torture, even murder.

2) The idea of an infinite torture, or even infinite punishment is excessive in any scenario.

*Edit:  I also object to the idea that a just punishment is based the character of the victim, rather then the severity of the crime. (and I imagine that you would agree in a regular court of law)
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 17, 2011, 09:37:08 pm
lancia wrote:
Quote from: forthelord

The scenerio would be that as God punishes people for the sins of this life, this only increases their hatred for God (perhaps how a punishment given to a disobedient child only makes them angrier).  Hating God is a sin, and so they must be punished further.  Which means that they grow even more in their hatred towards God. This process continues ad infinitum and is therefore a potentially infinite number of sins.  On this view, hell is locked from the inside.

But, all it takes is one person in hell who does not continue to hate God to undermine this “solution.” Don’t you think that it is possible that at least one person in hell doesn’t continue to hate God indefinitely and so would not deserve eternal punishment under this scenario?


Well, that's possible but won't happen in the actual world.  The anger the reprobate feel against God only naturally increases as punishment goes on.  That one person that wouldn't increase in anger (which I find implausible given human nature) isn't the type of person who goes to hell.

In any case, this is all academic for both of us because I have annihilationist inclinations and you are a universalist if I'm not mistaken.  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Justin Green on January 17, 2011, 10:01:25 pm
Has anyone listened to NT Wright's views on hell and what happens to people who reject God?  Instead of burning forever and punishing, it's more like a cessation of being human.  Seeking other things in life - material things, sex, power, more than one seeks God, lessens our humanity.  As people are more and more consumed by these things, the less they seem to be human, and these pursuits simply continue to eat away at one as they enter eternity.

I may not be getting Wright's views exactly right, but it's not an annihilationist view, and it's not a literal burning fire view, either.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: lancia on January 17, 2011, 10:20:01 pm
forthelord wrote:
That one person that wouldn't increase in anger (which I find implausible given human nature) isn't the type of person who goes to hell.

I don’t see how one can say that with any confidence. A non-believer who dies in that state because of a perceived lack of evidence, not because he hates God, will go to hell, according to current dogma. Why would such a person in hell necessarily sin against God repeatedly?

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 18, 2011, 01:10:04 am
Yeah, I think I agree with CTD.  There doesn't seem to be any equivocation going on here.

An infinite punishment in hell is NOT because God is an infinitely great being.  Rather, the act of denying God is an act that requires an infinite punishment.

If someone commits murder, they go to jail for life, or a really long time.  Now the duration of their punishment doesn't have anything to do with how great the person that they killed was.  It was that the act they did required a certain punishment.  I don't see how this has anything to do with how great God is.  Rather, if He is the one who determines the severity of an act, than the punishment is just.

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 18, 2011, 02:48:31 am
lancia wrote:
Quote from: forthelord

That one person that wouldn't increase in anger (which I find implausible given human nature) isn't the type of person who goes to hell.

I don’t see how one can say that with any confidence. A non-believer who dies in that state because of a perceived lack of evidence, not because he hates God, will go to hell, according to current dogma. Why would such a person in hell necessarily sin against God repeatedly?


Well, not if you are a molinist and accept transworld depravity.    If evidence is all they needed to be saved, then they would get that evidence to satisfy them.  Intellectual honest nonbelievers who would pursue a relationship with God if they had enough evidence will be convinced before they die.  People who go to hell, on this view, would never have accepted Christ.  It seems perfectly plausible that these people would only grow in hatred the more they are punished.  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 18, 2011, 04:13:49 am
lancia wrote:

I don’t see how one can say that with any confidence. A non-believer who dies in that state because of a perceived lack of evidence, not because he hates God, will go to hell, according to current dogma. Why would such a person in hell necessarily sin against God repeatedly?



Haven't you heard the claim, "Well, I've lived a good life.  I've helped people.  I've been a good moral person, and I do a lot of great things! So if I got to Heaven and God still sent me to Hell, than I wouldn't want ANYTHING to do with THAT God!"
I think it's quite plausible.  

So though I think this is a pretty plausible argument, I think I'd prefer to hold to a view that says that it might be logically impossible for God to take someone out of Hell and bring them to Heaven.  So that there is no longer a problem with "How a loving God send someone to Hell for eternity."  But rather, "How can a loving God send someone to hell."  Of course this question is much easier to answer given that we send ourselves there on the basis of our own freewill.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 18, 2011, 04:33:36 am

Here is an interesting video where N.T. Wright shares his views on hell.  

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 05:16:21 am
Intellectual honest nonbelievers who would pursue a relationship with God if they had enough evidence will be convinced before they die.

There is a problem here though.  You assume that anyone who knows God exists would want a relationship with him. I know Angelina Jolee exists, yet I have no interest in having a relationship with her.  The same could be said about God;  Right now I do not have enough evidence, so I do not beleive he exists.  I would change that belief if given compelling evidence, but that still does not mean that I would want a relationship with him.  From the stuff the bible says about him, I find him to be a horrible character.

Of course this question is much easier to answer given that we send ourselves there on the basis of our own freewill.

The idea that everyone sends them selves to jail is backwards.  Imagine that I pointed a gun at you and said that if you do not give me your wallet I will shoot you.  You refuse to give me your wallet, and I shoot you.  Did you just choose to get shot?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Andreas Engström on January 18, 2011, 05:20:35 am
jbiemans wrote:
But in correcting the errors it seem to me that God indeed needs to punish the wrongdoer, and hence you so to say end up in hell even on your view. May I ask, is it the infinity of hell that is your problem or is it that God is punishing at all? Or perhaps both.
I have a problem with a few things

1) "The wrongdoer" as you put it can be anything from telling a little white lie, to stealing a penny candy, to being gay, to being born into another religion, being a murder, etc, and simply not believing that God exists because you don't find the evidence compelling.  I cannot accept that any crime is worth torture, even murder.

2) The idea of an infinite torture, or even infinite punishment is excessive in any scenario.

*Edit:  I also object to the idea that a just punishment is based the character of the victim, rather then the severity of the crime. (and I imagine that you would agree in a regular court of law)

OK, I see your points. I will try to address some of them. You cannot accept that any crime is worth torture. Well, I don't think that is what hell is about. And before you bring all those fiery images from the Bible I think others at this board have shown that the best way to understand them is in a figurative way. That is they are used to describe Hell as a really horrible place but are not meant to be understood as an literal description. Hell is not a place of torture even though it is a place of suffering. Put it this way Hell is a place where nothing of God's goodness is manifested. What makes Hell worse I would think is the realization that you have missed the point with your whole existence. You have seen God face to face but been shown away from him in line with your own will.

I had planned to say something about your second point as well but others have addressed it in this very thread and given some different ways of understanding how Hell could be eternal.


Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 18, 2011, 05:47:55 am
forthelord wrote: The anger the reprobate feel against God only naturally increases as punishment goes on.  That one person that wouldn't increase in anger (which I find implausible given human nature) isn't the type of person who goes to hell.

   

   Is there some reason that you believe yourself to be particularly knowledgeable about human nature?  (Before you answer, it might be a good idea to look up the Dunning-Kruger effect.)

   

   I've gotten the impression that you are pretty young, and have grown up in a very Christian environment.  (Correct?)  It seems like your view of human nature is heavily influenced by biblical claims about human nature, moreso than an education in psychological science.  It so happens that psychologists and psychiatrists have a particularly low rate of belief in God compared to the general population.  Why not think that your view of human nature is biased towards fitting your biblically inspired worldview?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 05:54:22 am
Put it this way Hell is a place where nothing of God's goodness is manifested.

As I have already said, being that God is omnipresent, is this even possible ?

Hell is not a place of torture even though it is a place of suffering

You do not think that an eternal existence in a place where you can experience nothing good, ever, and have no way out, not even suicide, is torture ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 18, 2011, 06:09:52 am
I've gotten the impression that you are pretty young


Right, I'm 16...

 have grown up in a very Christian environment.


Not so much.  I live in a liberal northern town where even my high school teachers throw subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) attacks against Christianity. I remember one class where my English teacher read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jon Edwards and she ranted the entire class about how silly these sorts of beliefs are. My science teacher freshman year often went on "science vs religion" rants. My fellow students often joke and poke fun at religion as well.  I don't know any professing Christians at my school and my only Christian friends are from the local church.  My parents haven't forced me to go to church nor were they upset when I told them I was an agnostic atheist two years ago (however, they were glad when I came back to Christianity).  

So, I don't think my upbringing so far has been particularly Christian.

Why not think that your view of human nature is biased towards fitting your biblically inspired worldview?


Of course my view of human nature will be in unison with other strongly held beliefs in my noetic structure. Not much else would be expected.  In any case, the objectors to the doctrine of hell are making a claim about the internal consistency of Christian belief and according to transworld depravity the people who end up in hell truly despise God.  It seems to make perfect sense that these people would only grow more angry with God the more they are in hell.  You are supposing a very deep knowledge of not only human nature in general, but a certain supernatural element of human nature of particular people.  You are the one pressing the hell objection, the burden of proof is on you.  

As I have said previously, this is all academic for me anyway because I tend to side with annihilationism.  

Btw,Wonderer, if you were ever in the position where hell were the only wall between you and Christianity, reject the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.  

Like I said, if you want to show that Hell refutes Christianity, you have your work cut out for you because you have to prove each one of those four routes are untenable.  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Andreas Engström on January 18, 2011, 08:07:24 am
jbiemans wrote:
Put it this way Hell is a place where nothing of God's goodness is manifested.

As I have already said, being that God is omnipresent, is this even possible ?

Hell is not a place of torture even though it is a place of suffering

You do not think that an eternal existence in a place where you can experience nothing good, ever, and have no way out, not even suicide, is torture ?

I have been thinking about your first issue myself but I think it is possible. Yes God is omnipresent, but I think that he can manifest his presence in stronger or lesser degree. God is omnipresent in the world we have now but that does not mean that we all walk around constantly aware of his presence, in heaven on the other hand we will do that. God will make his presence so obvious that it will be like seeing him face to face. Secondly, God could be present at a place without administrating any of his gifts of joy, happiness life and so forth to that place, if people have decided that they do not want to have anything with him to do he is not forcing himself on them.

I would need to to some more thinking on your other question. I did not realize that was what you meant by torture. I thought you had the big grill party image in mind. Perhaps you are right that it can feel like torture in that sense, but then again you don't need to end up there. Those who go there do so because they reject God's saving grace. He is not intending for people to go there. But as I sad, I will need to do some more thinking.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 08:52:48 am
I would need to to some more thinking on your other question. I did not realize that was what you meant by torture. I thought you had the big grill party image in mind. Perhaps you are right that it can feel like torture in that sense, but then again you don't need to end up there. Those who go there do so because they reject God's saving grace. He is not intending for people to go there. But as I sad, I will need to do some more thinking.

You are looking at it through a Christian lens, and I can understand that, but if you look at it from the outside you see something different.

Remember my example about being mugged.  Would you ever say that you only got shot becuase you rejected the muggers saving grace ?  (He offered you a way out all you had to do was meet the demands).

God is the one who created the punishment in the first place, to say that he is being mercifull or offering grace to keep you out of it is so backwards.

Forgive the example but its like a battered wife saying:

"My husband is such a great guy.  As soon as I started listening to him and doing as he says, he stopped beating me"

That is how I see God acting with the doctrine of hell.

if people have decided that they do not want to have anything with him to do he is not forcing himself on them.

You may be right, if I thought that God was real, I would honestly want nothing to do with him.  This does not however mean that I want to reject everything that is good.  I can embrace things like joy, happiness, life, etc, but still reject God.  

If God created me, and he created me to be a sentient being in possession of free will, then he forfited his rights to do with my life as he pleases.  He gave me a gift and it would be wrong to take it away on his whim.  Imagine if a parent said "I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it", and we allowed society to operate like that. (Ie. it is ok to murder your own children.).  

Imagine an even worse scenario;  You create rules for your children, and expect them to follow them.  You never inforce the rules or punish them at the time they break them, but simply write down each time they do.  You allow them to grow up and on their 30th birthday you bring them together and review which rules they have broken.

If they have broken even one of the rules you made (maybe talking with your mouth full), you lock them in the basement for the rest of their lives depriving them of anything that would bring them happiness or joy.  There is one loophole however.  If they follow the loophole all is forgiven and they will be given everything they could ever want.

This system sounds horrible.(I know its not a perfect analogy, but close).  Would you say that the father is showing saving grace by offering a loophole to get out of the punishment that he set up ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: lancia on January 18, 2011, 09:13:46 am
forthelord wrote:
Well, not if you are a molinist and accept transworld depravity. If evidence is all they needed to be saved, then they would get that evidence to satisfy them. Intellectual honest nonbelievers who would pursue a relationship with God if they had enough evidence will be convinced before they die. People who go to hell, on this view, would never have accepted Christ. It seems perfectly plausible that these people would only grow in hatred the more they are punished.

Why would anyone accept transworld depravity, except to rationalize their belief that those in hell deserve to be there eternally? Jesus makes it very clear that the entire idea of transworld damnation is false, for he knew that some who died unrepentant would have repented had they witnessed the miracles, i.e., additional evidence (e.g., Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13).

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 10:54:27 am
Here is a though about hell.  Imagine that you are one of the young female children from Jericho.  The isrealities come and distroy your city, killing your whole family, and then take you captive and you must become a slave or a wife to an Isealite.  All this was done under the command of God.

1) Do you think you could ever love that God ?
2) Do you deserve to go to hell because you cannot ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Cletus Nze on January 18, 2011, 12:06:03 pm
jbiemans wrote: Here is a though about hell.  Imagine that you are one of the young female children from Jericho.  The isrealities come and distroy your city, killing your whole family, and then take you captive and you must become a slave or a wife to an Isealite.  All this was done under the command of God.

1) Do you think you could ever love that God ?
2) Do you deserve to go to hell because you cannot ?


Don't be stupid! Just because it is claimed in a book  written by the Israelites that God sanctioned their colonisation of the lands of others it DOES NOT follow this was the case! It was just as wrong then as it was when Europeans went on their colonising missions to Africa, Asia, America, and Australasia, for instance. And the same is true for ALL other colonising missions carried out with brute force!

These were raids carried out by bandit states - and were NEVER Divinely sanctioned! Does it not strike you as odd that Moses who had prevailed against the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh and had safely led the Israelites for DECADES in the hostile desert exposed to the dangers of destructive raids by Hittites and Babylonians as well as others did not enter into their so-called "Promised Land" with them? Does this "Promised Land" look to you like it is flowing with milk and honey! Has it ever done so? And how small it is! Certainly, it straddled important ancient trade routes which brought great wealth to whoever controlled it; but is that really all one can expect of a Divine Gift from the Most High?

The true Promised Land is the Spiritual Kingdom on earth in which God's Laws are fully recognised by human beings and adhered to - which would then inevitably bring Paradise on earth - wherever it may be located physically! The Israelites, as happened MANY times under Moses' leadership, sought a quick and easy fulfilment in accordance with their own materialistic ideas, for which they had been MANY times censured by Moses! This led to increasing tension between them and Moses and eventually resulted in a parting of ways! It is not inconceivable that he was even murdered - and then stories made up to explain why this great hero had not led them into the "Promised Land" himself ! Surely, he who had power enough to lead them to safety away from Egypt and persecution under Pharaoh could have led them also far more easily and rapidly to the conquest of Canaan - had he wished to and had God commanded it! But it was not so!

However, the Canaanites were a corrupt people at the time themselves and what struck them from the Israelites was also the hand of Fate! A Fate they had prepared for themselves with their own volition. It is WRONG to blame ANY of it on God!
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Cletus Nze on January 18, 2011, 12:09:31 pm
lancia wrote:
Quote from: forthelord

Well, not if you are a molinist and accept transworld depravity. If evidence is all they needed to be saved, then they would get that evidence to satisfy them. Intellectual honest nonbelievers who would pursue a relationship with God if they had enough evidence will be convinced before they die. People who go to hell, on this view, would never have accepted Christ. It seems perfectly plausible that these people would only grow in hatred the more they are punished.

Why would anyone accept transworld depravity, except to rationalize their belief that those in hell deserve to be there eternally? Jesus makes it very clear that the entire idea of transworld damnation is false, for he knew that some who died unrepentant would have repented had they witnessed the miracles, i.e., additional evidence (e.g., Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13).



Why do you think Jesus was referring to miracles (in the traditional sense) here - rather than the miracle of the Word of Truth coming to earth to dwell amongst the Israelites?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 01:08:49 pm
Mwalimu you actually have me quite intrigued.  I do not know what your actual beliefs are any more ?  It appears on the surface that you are christian, but you reject so many things that are written in the bible.  You have even gone as far as to rebuke the bible in some cases and stating that you do not get your information about God from the bible.  I have to ask you where do you get your information about God ?  Personal revelation ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: lancia on January 18, 2011, 01:26:12 pm
mwalimu wrote:
Why do you think Jesus was referring to miracles (in the traditional sense) here - rather than the miracle of the Word of Truth coming to earth to dwell amongst the Israelites?

I think the word miracles was intended because the word miracles, not the word miracle, was used in the statement of Jesus to the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida.

Matthew 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

Luke 10:13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”

In addition, even if Jesus meant the miracle of the Word of Truth coming to the earth, that miracle is still additional evidence that the people of Tyre and Sidon would have had, resulting in their repentance, according to Jesus.

So, I don’t think the nature of the miracle/miracles mentioned by Jesus affects my conclusion about transworld depravity.

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Jason Clanton on January 18, 2011, 04:45:12 pm
This is my first post, so bear with me!
I think that one possible atheist objection to hell could be that because they don't like it, this can't be true. But God, who is infinitely just, must act in justice, because that is his nature. And sin is sin, there is no scale on what is a smaller sin and what is bigger. That is why God forgives ALL sins, including the child molesters who truly repent. The earthly consequences of sin may be different. I have also read the view that people continue to sin in hell, hence the continuation of the punishment. There is no place in the Bible (I could of course be wrong) that says we no longer have free will in hell, so someone who is in hell may curse God for creating such a place, hence continuing to sin.
And as a psychologist myself, the psychology profession in the bast decade has shown how important spiritual beliefs are in mental and physical health. I could go on, but I said enough for my first post and am happy to be a part of such exciting discussions!

Jason
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 18, 2011, 05:13:05 pm
Welcome to the forum Jason !

I can understand your point about spiritual beliefs being helpful in come cases, but I am sure that you can agree that they can be harmful in others.  I can only imagine a young child traumatized by the thought of hell (I have heard many stories that speak of this)

Also, I don't object to hell simply because I don't like it, I object to it because I don't think it is just.  Just think about American's complaining about Guantanamo bay.

There are just punishments and unjust punishments, and there are just systems of justice and unjust systems of justice.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 18, 2011, 06:04:02 pm
so someone who is in hell may curse God for creating such a place, hence continuing to sin


I am somewhat unsure what to say to this. I would be inclined to complain and indeed express anger at the creation of a place specifically intended to torture my fellow humans, yes. How is that a 'sin'? Your god does not allow opinions or for anyone to have any moral issues with torture? I would be a 'sinner' by being against torture?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 18, 2011, 10:45:38 pm
jbiemans wrote:
The idea that everyone sends them selves to jail is backwards.  Imagine that I pointed a gun at you and said that if you do not give me your wallet I will shoot you.  You refuse to give me your wallet, and I shoot you.  Did you just choose to get shot?


It's true that analogies really aren't very good as arguments.  This analogy doesn't seem to be the case at all, but it is in itself pretty backwards.
It seems the man pointing the gun=God
The person who is getting the gun pointed at them=People
And shooting them=Punishment

1) Yes, this person absolutely chose to get shot.  The person had an option, either i) get rid of my material possession, namely my wallet, and survive or, ii) Hold on to my money and get murdered.  So any person in this position certainly has a choice.
2) It isn't as if God is stealing something from this person in a way that is wronging them.  Rather, it's like saying, "Give me your wallet, and in return I'll give you everything you'll ever need.  Including eternal love and happiness"
3) The biggest assumption is that you assume that the person who's wallet is getting stolen is somehow innocent, when in fact, they aren't.  A better analogy would go like this:
A person who is guilty of enough crimes, is on death row and moments away from being put to death.  However, the warden comes to him and says "If you change your ways and believe in me, I'll free you from being put to death." The man considers this for a moment, and replies with a "No."
How is this backwards?  What more could the Warden do when such a pardon is rejected?

I see nothing backwards about this.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 18, 2011, 10:55:15 pm
3) The biggest assumption is that you assume that the person who's wallet is getting stolen is somehow innocent, when in fact, they aren't.  A better analogy would go like this:
A person who is guilty of enough crimes, is on death row and moments away from being put to death.  However, the warden comes to him and says "If you change your ways and believe in me, I'll free you from being put to death." The man considers this for a moment, and replies with a "No."
How is this backwards?


Flawed analogy. For it to remain consistent with christianity, the "warden" is completely invisible and the 'criminal' is completely unaware of the existence of the warden or jail or crimes. He then gets threatened by a non-warden without a gun demanding that he has committed crimes without any evidence to show that he has. He then gets tortured forever and ever and ever for not believing that this warden exists against the claims of an existing human who typically turns out to have spent a lifetime abusing children. Who came to this supposed criminal?

Can it get anymore "backwards"?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Paul Kelly on January 19, 2011, 02:25:59 am
lancia wrote:
Quote from: forthelord

Well, not if you are a molinist and accept transworld depravity. If evidence is all they needed to be saved, then they would get that evidence to satisfy them. Intellectual honest nonbelievers who would pursue a relationship with God if they had enough evidence will be convinced before they die. People who go to hell, on this view, would never have accepted Christ. It seems perfectly plausible that these people would only grow in hatred the more they are punished.

Why would anyone accept transworld depravity, except to rationalize their belief that those in hell deserve to be there eternally? Jesus makes it very clear that the entire idea of transworld damnation is false, for he knew that some who died unrepentant would have repented had they witnessed the miracles, i.e., additional evidence (e.g., Matthew 11:21, Luke 10:13).

(this is just a copy of the same post I wrote in the other thread.)

I actually went on to facebook and asked Dr. Craig how he interprets Matt 11:21.  Dr. Craig said that he takes this verse to be a "religious hyperbole".  This sounds to me contrived but if we have overarching reasons to be molinists (and believe in transworld damnation), then we are within our rights in interpretting the verse in this way. Moreover, I think a good hermeneutical principle is that you shouldn't base a theology on one verse (technically two verses but they are repeating the same saying).


Also, Lancia, you have yet to show that the other escape routes I listed are untenable.  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 19, 2011, 02:36:50 am
Snakeystew wrote:
Flawed analogy. For it to remain consistent with christianity, the "warden" is completely invisible and the 'criminal' is completely unaware of the existence of the warden or jail or crimes. He then gets threatened by a non-warden without a gun demanding that he has committed crimes without any evidence to show that he has. He then gets tortured forever and ever and ever for not believing that this warden exists against the claims of an existing human who typically turns out to have spent a lifetime abusing children. Who came to this supposed criminal?

Can it get anymore "backwards"?


No, this would be a view consistent with your belief, I'm guessing as an Atheist.  If the criminal chooses to ignore the evidence that God as supply so that no men are without excuse, than again, that's the criminals fault.  There is plenty of evidence of crimes committed both on moral grounds, and by God's standards, so I have no idea what you're talking about here.  The rest of what you are talking about makes no sense.  I'm assuming it's your personal thoughts on Christianity.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 19, 2011, 06:03:38 am
It's true that analogies really aren't very good as arguments.  This analogy doesn't seem to be the case at all, but it is in itself pretty backwards.
It seems the man pointing the gun=God
The person who is getting the gun pointed at them=People
And shooting them=Punishment

1) Yes, this person absolutely chose to get shot.  The person had an option, either i) get rid of my material possession, namely my wallet, and survive or, ii) Hold on to my money and get murdered.  So any person in this position certainly has a choice.
2) It isn't as if God is stealing something from this person in a way that is wronging them.  Rather, it's like saying, "Give me your wallet, and in return I'll give you everything you'll ever need.  Including eternal love and happiness"
3) The biggest assumption is that you assume that the person who's wallet is getting stolen is somehow innocent, when in fact, they aren't.  A better analogy would go like this:
A person who is guilty of enough crimes, is on death row and moments away from being put to death.  However, the warden comes to him and says "If you change your ways and believe in me, I'll free you from being put to death." The man considers this for a moment, and replies with a "No."
How is this backwards?  What more could the Warden do when such a pardon is rejected?

I see nothing backwards about this.

Really ???? I mean really ??? The person getting mugged is choosing to get shot ???  Just like the person who gets raped chose to get raped ?  I think you have a messed up sense of what it means to choose something.

"If you change your ways and believe in me, I'll free you from being put to death."

How is that justice ?  Simply say you are sorry and that you love me and I will forget every wrong thing you have done ? (paraphrased).  The warden was the one putting him to death in the first place for crimes that most people would not even consider crimes, especially not crimes worthy of the death penalty.

How is it backwards ??  This system of justice punishes those who are not compelled by the evidence and rewards those who can simply follow orders and do as they are told.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 19, 2011, 06:28:07 am
IceKnight366 wrote: It isn't as if God is stealing something from this person in a way that is wronging them.  Rather, it's like saying, "Give me your wallet, and in return I'll give you everything you'll ever need.  Including eternal love and happiness"

   

   You left off the part which goes, "However, this eternal love and happiness won't begin until after you are dead.  It will begin then though.  Trust me."
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Jason Clanton on January 19, 2011, 10:21:39 am

You'll have to bare with me, as I don't know how to include quotes from other posts (perhaps there is a section on the forum that addresses this?). I'll just comment on the comments () from my first post.

Jbiermas: Yes, there are religious beliefs that are harmful, such as scrupulosity (obsessive beliefs that interfere with daily life or are "more catholic than the pope). As far as traumatizing children about hell, I think this would be those who are legalists who are more concerned with rules than with relationship with God. At my church, our Sunday school program doesn't even address hell until high school (cannot speak for the parents, obviously). And just and unjust punishment is subjective, unless there is a perfectly moral and just being to decide proper punishment, which would be God. I would defer to a being with perfect moral and just attributes then flawed humanity's opinion of what is moral and just.

Snakeystew

Not sure where you are getting the "your God does not allow opinions for anyone to have any moral issues with torture." I think all Christians are against torture (or should be). And if you read the this thread, there are those who do not believe in hell being torture, but torment, two different things. I think you misunderstood my point. Those in hell continue to sin, therefore they continue to deserve punishment.

Just out of curiosity, what should God do to those who do not want to follow Him and disobey him? Just let them in heaven anyway (which is unjust) or just wipe them out of existence?


Jason

PS. Lee Strobel's book "the case for faith" has a chapter on hell that I think addresses most of the concerns on this thread.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 19, 2011, 11:50:17 am
To quote someone, you can simply copy and paste their comments into the window and then highlight it and click the little word bubble icon on top.

or you can highlight it on their post (before you start your reply) and click the little quote icon on the right (i think)

Jbiermas: Yes, there are religious beliefs that are harmful, such as scrupulosity (obsessive beliefs that interfere with daily life or are "more catholic than the pope). As far as traumatizing children about hell, I think this would be those who are legalists who are more concerned with rules than with relationship with God. At my church, our Sunday school program doesn't even address hell until high school (cannot speak for the parents, obviously). And just and unjust punishment is subjective, unless there is a perfectly moral and just being to decide proper punishment, which would be God. I would defer to a being with perfect moral and just attributes then flawed humanity's opinion of what is moral and just.

If that is the way that your church opperates, then I can somewhat appreciate that approach.  I still think its wrong to teach someone that they were born in sin and must do something to atone for it, but that is another topic.  As for morality.  I judge things to be just or unjust on my experiences and the moral and ethical framework that I have grown up with and have adapted and created to fit what I know about other people and reality.

If there is a god who is perfectly moral etc, it is not the God depicted in the Bible.  Also this makes you have to ask a new question.  How do you know that God is perfectly moral ?  By what standard do you seek to judge God's morality ?  If you do not judge God and just assume him to be moral, then shouldn't it be the case that we should all try to be exactly like God and mirror everything he does (or is said to have done) ?

Just out of curiosity, what should God do to those who do not want to follow Him and disobey him? Just let them in heaven anyway (which is unjust) or just wipe them out of existence?

If when we die, we go dormant and are simply waiting for the second coming, then why revive us only to send us to torment and suffering ??  Why not just leave us dead ?  (probably because death is not a good deterrent, and if you are trying to alter behavior through threat of punishment).
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 19, 2011, 01:39:19 pm
@jbiemans: 1)A person getting rapped doesn't have a choice at all.  But in this scenario, the person who is about to get their wallet taken absolutely has a choice.  A crapy choice, either get screwed or get screwed, but a choice still.  So it's not at all on the same level as someone who gets rapped.

2) Not sure what you are saying here, it sounds like you agree.

@ Wonderer: Not at all Wonderer.  Any Christian on here can express how they have experienced God's love and the joy that this brings here and now.  What you wrote seems to insinuate that all persons will have crapy lives and that we wont start to experience love and happiness until we are dead.  If that were the case, than even if it were true that you had to wait until you died to  experience this love and happiness, what is 60 or so years (at this  point) compared to eternity?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 19, 2011, 01:58:14 pm
@jbiemans: 1)A person getting rapped doesn't have a choice at all.  But in this scenario, the person who is about to get their wallet taken absolutely has a choice.  A crapy choice, either get screwed or get screwed, but a choice still.  So it's not at all on the same level as someone who gets rapped.

What if someone was given the choice A) Become my slave for eternity doing my will and worshiping me forever B) getting raped, beaten and murdered.

Perhaps technically they have a choice, but is it really a choice ?

Basically what is being said here is "Do as I want or you will be forcing me to do something bad to you"  (sounds more like a mafia boss offering protection to me I guess)

Pay me, and I will not have my guys bust up your store.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 19, 2011, 01:59:37 pm
If that were the case, than even if it were true that you had to wait until you died to experience this love and happiness, what is 60 or so years (at this point) compared to eternity?

If eternity were 100% guaranteed, then you may have a point, but as it is pure speculation at this time, then can you really factor it in ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: lancia on January 19, 2011, 03:43:45 pm
forthelord wrote:
I actually went on to facebook and asked Dr. Craig how he interprets Matt 11:21.  Dr. Craig said that he takes this verse to be a "religious hyperbole".  This sounds to me contrived but if we have overarching reasons to be molinists (and believe in transworld damnation), then we are within our rights in interpretting the verse in this way.

I agree with you that it sounds contrived. Hyperbole, as an exaggeration, must portray a kernel of truth. What would that kernel of truth be here, other than the fact that more evidence would have led to more repentance?

I find it quite ironic that a major part of molinism, middle knowledge, is based on a literal reading of this counterfactual statement in Matthew 11:21, e.g., references 1, 2, and 3. But when this statement is used to argue against transworld depravity, another part of molinism, then it is said to be only hyperbole. Very strange indeed!

Moreover, I think a good hermeneutical principle is that you shouldn't base a theology on one verse (technically two verses but they are repeating the same saying).

But as I have explained, middle knowledge relies on this verse. And where would molinism be without the pivotal concept of middle knowledge?


Also, Lancia, you have yet to show that the other escape routes I listed are untenable.

I have no argument with those.

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 19, 2011, 04:14:22 pm
jbiemans wrote:
What if someone was given the choice A) Become my slave for eternity doing my will and worshiping me forever B) getting raped, beaten and murdered.

Perhaps technically they have a choice, but is it really a choice ?

Basically what is being said here is "Do as I want or you will be forcing me to do something bad to you"  (sounds more like a mafia boss offering protection to me I guess)

Pay me, and I will not have my guys bust up your store.


1) Now you are just conflating the whole discussion.  Your  mixing together the analogies of rape and murder that you used, with the true  proposition of Heaven.  The correct way to say this would be, "Either you spend eternity with me, or you spend eternity without me."  Not to mention that "slave" is just a emotionally loaded term.  So this doesn't really require much response.

2)Are you a moral relativist?  It's interesting because all in one foul swoop, you just eliminated the ability to judge.  You just said, "Do as I want or you will be forcing me to do something bad to you."  This means that you think someone being held accountable for their actions by judgment is a bad thing, i.e. evil thing (or we can stick with bad for now if you want).  This would mean that you think it's bad to have ANY moral accountability!  You are saying that we should just allow anyone to do any immoral act they want with complete indifference and accountability.  Do you really believe this?

3) If you don't think it's a bad thing, than God isn't saying "You will force me to do something bad to you."  What He is saying is, "You will force me to have to hold you accountable and judge you for your actions."

4)
jbiemans wrote: If  eternity were 100% guaranteed, then you may have a point, but as it is  pure speculation at this time, then can you really factor it in ?

This is getting into the PofE and how Christianity is really the last hope to solve this issue.  If you and Wonderer are right, and there isn't anything after this life, than some people just get the short end of the stick and have horrible lives; there is nothing to look forward to.  So if you can't factor this in, than the entire point that Wonderer made is dropped.  This would mean that there is no hope for any love or happiness and that everything just ends at the grave, so whats the point?  Some people are just screwed.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Jason Clanton on January 19, 2011, 04:52:36 pm
Okay, I'm going to try to do the whole quote thing, kind of scared though! Although I'm not sure how to insert the "originally posted by -----" part.
jbiemans said

 I judge things to be just or unjust on my experiences and the moral and ethical framework that I have grown up with and have adapted and created to fit what I know about other people and reality.

If there is a god who is perfectly moral etc, it is not the God depicted in the Bible.  Also this makes you have to ask a new question.  How do you know that God is perfectly moral ?  By what standard do you seek to judge God's morality ?  If you do not judge God and just assume him to be moral, then shouldn't it be the case that we should all try to be exactly like God and mirror everything he does (or is said to have done) ?

So your morality is subjective or perhaps you are a moral relativist as iceknight366 implied. This is shaky morality at best.
The God of the bible isn't moral might be a reference to the Old Testament atrocities argument (at least I am assuming that is where the argument comes from). There are a lot of resources addressing this issue.
And yes, we should be like God, even though we cannot attain like God.  For God's attributes is goodness, just, love, etc. God is the good. Read Craig's discussion on eurhtyro (sp?) delimma. Also Lee Strobel's the case for faith also addresses the old testament atrocities.
Talk to you soon!

Jason
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 19, 2011, 05:46:32 pm
If the criminal chooses to ignore the evidence that God as supply so that no men are without excuse, than again, that's the criminals fault.


Incorrect.

It is blatantly naive to assert that anyone is 'ignoring' but instead that what you perceive as being 'evidence' is not going to be the same for everyone else.

However, should someone ignore evidence, it hardly justifies statement that they're a "criminal" and deserve roasting.

---

Not sure where you are getting the "your God does not allow opinions for anyone to have any moral issues with torture."


The statement was that people being tortured in hell will be complaining about it, hence continuing to sin. As such, my statement argued that any complaints made by people being tortured are hardly "sin", (unless it is a sin to have opinions on moral issues regarding torture).

And if you read the this thread, there are those who do not believe in hell being torture, but torment, two different things.


1. You can use whatever of those words you like, it doesn't change anything. Torturing someone or tormenting someone are still not moral actions.

2. I cannot possibly cater for every little unsubstantiated offshoot of christian belief. I could do so on an individual basis but they'd first have to explain all their personal little beliefs to me - something they never do. It would of coure be vastly more helpful if christians could start being consistent in their beliefs.

Just out of curiosity, what should God do to those who do not want to follow Him and disobey him? Just let them in heaven anyway (which is unjust) or just wipe them out of existence?


How odd that you only provide two outcomes and think that not wanting to follow someone morally justifies torture or annihilation. What's wrong with being nice and happy, giving them kisses and hugs and letting them go off to explore the universe and do the things that they want to do? You don't necessarily have to invite them into your house, (although any genuinely loving individual would always make such invitation and keep it forever open), but that doesn't only leave torture and slaughter as options.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 19, 2011, 05:47:25 pm
IceKnight366 wrote: @ Wonderer: Not at all Wonderer.  Any Christian on here can express how they have experienced God's love and the joy that this brings here and now.

   

   Well, actually there have been people who have posted here saying they are Christians yet haven't had an experience of God's presence, so unless you are willing to say that such people are not Christians, it doesn't seem as if this claim holds up.  (I am certainly not willing to say that such people are not Christians.)

   

   Furthermore, if you are interested, I can track down a TIME magazine article which reveals that Mother Theresa was without the experience of God's love for most of her life, and admitted to feeling like a fraud.  So I'm curious as to how you interpret such information.  

   
What you wrote seems to insinuate that all persons will have crapy lives and that we wont start to experience love and happiness until we are dead.

   

   I didn't say anything remotely like that.  There are lots of generally happy atheists, who are loved and love others without a need to think that God has anything to do with the matter.  Myself included.

   

   What I said was:

   

   You left off the part which goes, "However, this eternal love and happiness won't begin until after you are dead. It will begin then though. Trust me."

   

   The word "eternal" was a key aspect of what I was saying.  It is quite clear that being a Christian doesn't result in eternal feelings of happiness, prior to death.  I can't say that I trust Christians know what they are talking about WRT experience after death,

   

   However the implausibility of experiencing eternal happiness after death has no bearing on the matter of people experiencing happiness while they are alive.  

   

   
If that were the case, than even if it were true that you had to wait until you died to  experience this love and happiness, what is 60 or so years (at this  point) compared to eternity?

   

   60 years is of course infinitely less than eternity.  However, that doesn't get around the problem of a dead brain being in an electochemical state which results in a subjective feeling of happiness.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 19, 2011, 06:06:25 pm
If you and Wonderer are right, and there isn't anything after this life, than some people just get the short end of the stick and have horrible lives; there is nothing to look forward to.  So if you can't factor this in, than the entire point that Wonderer made is dropped.  This would mean that there is no hope for any love or happiness and that everything just ends at the grave, so whats the point?  Some people are just screwed.

   

   This is black or white (all or nothing) thinking.  

   

   Certainly as social primates, we are innately wired to have a strong concern for fairness.  It shows in how at a very early age children express there concerns (however unobjective those concerns might be( about what is fair,  We even see primates of different species starve themselves for days, in order to avoid a fellow primate being treated unfairly.  So it is perfectly understandable that you would have a strong aversion to life ultimately lacking fairness.  The thought of Hitler and Mother Teresa sharing the same end is something which I can understand you would find to be hard to adjust to if you have spent your whole life considering such to be inconceivable.  

   

   However, what we are talking about here is fundamentally a matter of an emotional reaction, which is generally conducive to social primates behaving in a way which is conducive to the social primates getting the benefit of social living.  Being an emotional reaction, it doesn't provide a sound basis for thinking that justice simply must be served after death.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 19, 2011, 06:08:12 pm
to get the persons name put = and then the user name after the word QUOTE.  I am still kinda new at doing it that way too

jason5332 wrote:
So your morality is subjective or perhaps you are a moral relativist as iceknight366 implied. This is shaky morality at best.
The God of the bible isn't moral might be a reference to the Old Testament atrocities argument (at least I am assuming that is where the argument comes from). There are a lot of resources addressing this issue.
And yes, we should be like God, even though we cannot attain like God.  For God's attributes is goodness, just, love, etc. God is the good. Read Craig's discussion on eurhtyro (sp?) delimma. Also Lee Strobel's the case for faith also addresses the old testament atrocities.
Talk to you soon!

Jason

I hate to break it to you, but depending on your definition of objective, everyones morals are subjective.  Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.  So to say that I am a relativistic, or a subjectivist, is not really a negative thing to me.  While it may be true that I cannot say that something is wrong in the same sense that I can say that 2 + 2 =/= 5, I can still say that it is wrong.

If we can agree to a standard then I can say if it meets that standard or not.  The standard does not have to be actual either, it can be imaginary and still serve the same purpose. In this case, it is still subjective because someone can dispute the standard, but it gives us a framework with which to judge moral actions.  

Saying that God is the source of morality and that we should strive to be like God and emulate his actions does not really get us far though.  Lets take an action performed by God, "intentionally taking the life of a human being without consent".  If that action is performed by God, then it is moral (as God cannot commit immoral acts).  If that is moral and we should emulate that morality, then surely we should also intentionally take the life of a human being without consent right ?  If there are actions that are performed by God that are moral, but immoral when performed by humans, then God clearly is not the source of our morality.

But that really is a topic for another thread.

And now back to the regularly scheduled program:

Either you spend eternity with me, or you spend eternity without me."

If that was the dilemma at hand then I would not have an objection.  I suppose I have been making my arguments emotional because that is what I was getting back, but maybe I shouldn't.

How about this:

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity without me.  Keep in mind that being without me, means being without anything good, as I am the source of all good. "

Or more simply

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity without anything good, ever."

Which of course can be re-written as:

"Either you spend eternity with me, or I will make you spend eternity with only bad things"

Keep in mind, that it is not just a simple choice to spend eternity with God, there are many things you have to do in order to qualify.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Jason Clanton on January 19, 2011, 08:04:13 pm
=jbemains I hate to break it to you, but depending on your definition of objective, everyones morals are subjective.  Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.  So to say that I am a relativistic, or a subjectivist, is not really a negative thing to me.  

I completely agree. Everyone's morals are subjective. But God is not a person, and given his qualities, he is the standard of good.

=jbiemans  Saying that God is the source of morality and that we should strive to be like God and emulate his actions does not really get us far though.  Lets take an action performed by God, "intentionally taking the life of a human being without consent".  If that action is performed by God, then it is moral (as God cannot commit immoral acts).  If that is moral and we should emulate that morality, then surely we should also intentionally take the life of a human being without consent right ?  

Craig answers this on his website, although I can't for the life of me remember where (Someone else help, please).

Okay, we can debate this forever, but I'll be done with this topic now, except for one more thing:
=jbiemans
And now back to the regularly scheduled program:
 


that is hilarious! Love your sense of humor. Take care and God bless.

Jason
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 19, 2011, 09:03:49 pm
But God is not a person, and given his qualities, he is the standard of good


Therefore one can look at any action undertaken or condoned in the bible and consider it 'good', (or bad). Keeping slaves is therefore moral and eating shellfish is therefore immoral. He is the standard, your disagreement will mean nothing.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 20, 2011, 01:35:09 am
@ jbiemans: No you can not say that ANYTHING is wrong.  You can FEEL that it is wrong, or think that it is in your head, but you can't actually affirm that something IS WRONG.  If you want to talk about your moral relativism and all the problems and untenable "justifications" it has, let me know when you bring it up in the Morality Thread and I'll talk to you about it there.

"Values by definition are subjective"?  Really now?  So if you have a brain tumor, you would think that there is no difference between going to see a neurosurgeon verses going to say Denis Rodman to get it checked out?  Moreover, is it not true that, say oranges, have intrinsic value?  Ahhh... You see, there are many objective values that are true whether you subjectively think they are or not.  Even more, where is your evidence for this?

I talked to Snakey about this once already and was hoping that this site was past it.  About the issue of God taking life, should we than take this to mean that murder is a moral act?  "According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve [Dr. Craig] defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God.  Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself,  He has no moral duties to fulfill.  He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are.  For example, I have no right to take an innocent life.  For me to do so would be murder.  But God has no such prohibition.  He can give and take life as He chooses.  We all recognize this when we accuse some authority who presumes to take life as “playing God.”  Human authorities  arrogate to themselves rights which belong only to God.  God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second.  If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative."  What that implies is that God has the right to take lives; how long we live and when we die is up to Him

That's fine, I can accept the way you have now chosen to state God's judgment upon us.  However, now that you have stated it the correct way, without it being emotionally loaded, it does not have to be seen in the view you are holding.  Rather, as the Bible tells us, God pleads with us that we might choose Him.  You can't read the Bible without getting a clear sense of this.  Take for example how He literally pleads with people to repent of their unjust ways that He might not judge them.  “As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ez. 33.11).  So once we walk away from these types of emotional arguments, we can see that God is in no way related to a burglar or murderer giving someone an ultimatum.

@ Wonderer: I'm not at all equating fairness to an emotional appeal.  Now under your worldview, if all we are is "social primates" than you're right.  There really is no such thing as objective right or wrong, or objective fairness or unfairness, it's just an emotional response that nature as determined to be beneficial for survival or what have you.  So on this view you're right, fairness doesn't exist.  However, I'd be interested to see if your life is consistent with this.

Say you came into work tomorrow and your manager tells you, "If you work hard for the next 6 months I'll promote you and give you a raise!"  You work your butt off!  But at the end of say 2 months, your manager decides to promote Tommy instead!  Tommy being an unmotivated guy who just started work 1 month ago.  He barely cares about his job and puts in less then marginal work.  Moreover, your manager goes over to you, the hard working employee, and says, "If you don't start working harder, I'm going to fire you!"
Would you just dismiss this as your personal feelings about unfairness?  Or would you demand to talk to your manager and threaten to quit because of the unjust actions he has taken towards you?
Or say the man who you witness brutally killing your children is tried innocent in court.  Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 20, 2011, 08:11:26 pm
let me know when you bring it up in the Morality Thread and I'll talk to you about it there.

Will do.

"Values by definition are subjective"? Really now? So if you have a brain tumor, you would think that there is no difference between going to see a neurosurgeon verses going to say Denis Rodman to get it checked out? Moreover, is it not true that, say oranges, have intrinsic value? Ahhh... You see, there are many objective values that are true whether you subjectively think they are or not. Even more, where is your evidence for this?

I do not understand what you are saying here.  What kind of objective value does an orange have ?  How does choosing a competent surgeon relate to a value ?  I think you are conflating 2 definitions of value here.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/value
3: relative worth, utility, or importance value at the price> value of base stealing in baseball>

I guess I should have been more explicit and said "moral values" are by definition subjective.  Moral values only exist in a mind, therefore they are mind dependent and that makes them subjective.  If they existed despite the absense of any mind, then you can call them objective.  Just because you say they come from the mind of God, does not make them objective, just objective in relation to human minds.

So once we walk away these types of emotional arguments, we can see that God is in no way related to a burglar or murderer giving someone an ultimatum.

I still think you can see it as a threat, but I suppose it depends on how you look at things.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 20, 2011, 08:45:51 pm
IceKnight366 wrote: @ jbiemans: No you can not say that ANYTHING is wrong.  You can FEEL that it is wrong, or think that it is in your head, but you can't actually affirm that something IS WRONG.

   

   Although you addressed this to JB, I'll respond to it before going on...

   

   What do you mean by saying this?  Of course I am capable of saying something is wrong.  The semantics of it would be different than if you were to say it, but I don't find that to be particularly problematic.  What is it you think would be problematic for you, and why?

   

   
@ Wonderer: I'm not at all equating fairness to an emotional appeal.  Now under your worldview, if all we are is "social primates" than you're right.  There really is no such thing as objective right or wrong, or objective fairness or unfairness, it's just an emotional response that nature as determined to be beneficial for survival or what have you.  So on this view you're right, fairness doesn't exist.  However, I'd be interested to see if your life is consistent with this.

Say you came into work tomorrow and your manager tells you, "If you work hard for the next 6 months I'll promote you and give you a raise!"  You work your butt off!  But at the end of say 2 months, your manager decides to promote Tommy instead!  Tommy being an unmotivated guy who just started work 1 month ago.  He barely cares about his job and puts in less then marginal work.  Moreover, your manager goes over to you, the hard working employee, and says, "If you don't start working harder, I'm going to fire you!"

   

   

   Would you just dismiss this as your personal feelings about unfairness?  Or would you demand to talk to your manager and threaten to quit because of the unjust actions he has taken towards you?

   

   I'd be inclined to think my boss is not someone I want to work for, and that I was fortunate to get such clear cut information on the irrationality of his thinking, so that I had an opportunity to look for another job while still employed.  However, I would want to have some idea of his thought processes, and would likely seek an explanation for why he thought he was making a good decision.  Perhaps I can present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice and perhaps I can't.

   

   Fact is, I'm not a particularly hard worker, but a smart worker.  Having knowledge and talent in applying it is what I get paid for.  Others work much harder than I for my employer and get paid less.  I could probably get paid more if I worked harder, but I like my situation.  Is it fair that others work harder and get paid less?   Does it matter what the value of each person's output is, independent of how hard they work?  What if the quality of my work was lessened as a result of increasing the 'quantity', but there being accompanying fatigue and stress?

   

   I'd say there are a lot of complex factors involved, making it likely to be an apples and oranges comparison, and having 'fairness' be the primary concern would be a bit childish.    I can't really see myself spending a lot of time pouting about unfairness instead of taking more practical steps.

   

   
Or say the man who you witness brutally killing your children is tried innocent in court.  Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?

   

   You present a false dichotomy, and there is not enough realistic detail to this hypothetical, for me to take a remotely realistic guess at how I might respond.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 21, 2011, 01:30:31 am
You said:
jbiemans wrote: Morality is a value system, and values are by definition subjective.

Which seems to me to say that you are not just talking about moral values, but ALL values.  If you are only talking about moral values, than I'm glad you don't believe in subjective values as a whole hah and we can move past that.


jbiemans wrote: Just because you say they come from the mind of God, does not make them objective, just objective in relation to human minds.
It seems to me at most you could say is that moral values are subjective to God, but since they come from God, they are objective to us.  So it does follow that they are objective, and I think that's all that needs to be said about that.  It follows from this that morals are objective and not subjective(dependent upon personal opinion).
It doesn't seem that they are subjective to God either.  However, since I haven't really thought about it too much, I don't have a good reply to this, so we can just leave it at that for now hah.

jbiemans wrote:
I still think you can see it as a threat, but I suppose it depends on how you look at things.

That was exactly my point.  If one wants to see God as an unjust hateful old man in the sky, they'll find ways to do that.  However, if someone takes a look at God from a Christian viewpoint, you can not deny that He loves us very much.

@ Wonderer: What I mean by your first part of the post is that you can say (as in speaking) that something is wrong.  As a relativist, you can not affirm to me (or any other 7 billion people) that something is morally right or morally wrong, it's just up to personal taste.  A relativist can think it in their mind, or by their feelings, but that's it.

I posted this more realistic scenario before I posted the more obvious one.  You said you would,  "...present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice..."(Now again, you can't say that he made a bad choice, all you can say is "I personally feel like he made a bad choice") Now what do you mean by this?  Do you mean by "Good reason" that hopefully he will see that there really was something objectively unjust about his choice, or do you mean that you simply hope that he will agree with your personal taste verses his?  But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.  Obviously though, you didn't like the first example, so take the example of the kids.

On the second example, you say it's a false dichotomy, but you never said where this fallacy lies.  So I'll wait till you post it to make a comment on it for sure and to show me where the other options are.  How much more detail are you looking for?

Ultimately, since we are talking via a keyboard and computer screen, an individual could say "evil is good" and not have any feeling or intuition about it either way.  Rather, the best way to know for sure is by people's actions and by what they let slip out of their mouths.  For example, I was having this conversation with 4 other relativists an a separate site, all of whom strongly denied moral relativism.  It wasn't within 3 days that they all were already letting things like "That's evil", or "that's arrogant for you to say that", etc, slip out of their mouths.

P.S. Why is this all underlined??? lol
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 21, 2011, 08:53:33 am
Which seems to me to say that you are not just talking about moral values, but ALL values.  If you are only talking about moral values, than I'm glad you don't believe in subjective values as a whole hah and we can move past that.

Yes all values are subjective.

It seems to me at most you could say is that moral values are subjective to God, but since they come from God, they are objective to us.

Unfortunately it does not work that way.  If something is subjective, then it is subjective.

If you want it to work that way, then if society as a whole comes up with a moral value then that moral value is now subjective because it is now not dependent on personal opinion, but rather the opinion of the group as a whole.  If this is how you want to define objective, then yes I agree that objective moral values exist, but then God is not necessary for them.

However, if someone takes a look at God from a Christian viewpoint, you can not deny that He loves us very much.

Agreed, but its really no different then a wife who is beaten constantly saying, "Its ok because he loves me and I love him".  From the outside perspective, the view changes.

The thing here is that we have all been conditioned around the morality of our society.  We have been so ingrained with it that its hard to not speak of it in objective (or absolute) terms.  The truth of the matter is that nothing in morality is black and white but a million shades of grey.

While killing in general is immoral, killing can be moral depending on the scenario.  Killing in self-defense, killing one person to save thousands is moral, accidental killing is amoral, etc.  The fact is that we can easily say that first degree murder is immoral, whereas manslaughter is not.  How is it that we can make this distinction ?  The bible has nothing to say on the matter.

If it is an innate moral sense then why do people in some cultures think its OK to stone those who commit adultery and people in ours find that horrific.  The same can be said about slavery, etc.  Why do we think that slavery is bad, when the Bible actually gives rules on how to properly keep slaves ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 21, 2011, 10:18:59 am
IceKnight366 wrote: Wonderer: What I mean by your first part of the post is that you can say (as in speaking) that something is wrong.  As a relativist, you can not affirm to me (or any other 7 billion people) that something is morally right or morally wrong, it's just up to personal taste.  A relativist can think it in their mind, or by their feelings, but that's it.


And you can not affirm to me that something is objectively right or wrong either, so it seems we are in the same boat, regardless of having different views on the situation.  But then, people having different views on situations is an aspect of morality being subjective.
I posted this more realistic scenario before I posted the more obvious one.  You said you would,  "...present good reasons, that my boss will agree with, as to why he has made a bad choice..."(Now again, you can't say that he made a bad choice, all you can say is "I personally feel like he made a bad choice") Now what do you mean by this?  Do you mean by "Good reason" that hopefully he will see that there really was something objectively unjust about his choice, or do you mean that you simply hope that he will agree with your personal taste verses his?


I might hope that I could get this boss to see good reason to believe it is in the best interest of the company, and consequently himself, to reassess his behavior.  I assume he is making a business decision, and the quality of his thinking WRT business decisions is something which he is motivated to consider critically.  If such an assumption on my part is wrong it is good for me to find out as soon as possible, so as to be able to make well informed decisions myself.  May I ask how many years you have been employeed in a full time job?

But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.


I wouldn't be questioning his moral decision making, so much as his business decision making.  I might be subjectively pissed off, and be motivated to do things with consequences the boss comes to regret.  It is only reasonable that my boss understand that I am human and understand how I am likely to react to his decision.  However, I expect my boss to make decisions on a pragmatic basis, and if he considers himself well enough informed on relevant factors to be making a good pragmatic decision, then it is likely time for me to find a different job.

On the second example, you say it's a false dichotomy, but you never said where this fallacy lies.  So I'll wait till you post it to make a comment on it for sure and to show me where the other options are.  How much more detail are you looking for?


If you would like me to respond to your questions, then I would (subjectively of course) appreciate it if you would have the courtesy to respond to my questions.

That said, there are many many factors which your hypothetical would need to detail for me to even be willing to bother guessing at how I would respond.  And even then, I wouldn't expect that any guess I made (in a vastly different emotional state than I would be in if what was described were the real situation) to be anything other than a very inaccurate guess.

However, some of the big factors are:

Why did the killer do what he did?  (Was he a soldier conducting a military mission?)

Why was he ruled innocent?  (Does the judge hate me for some reason?)

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 24, 2011, 03:47:10 pm

IceKnight366 wrote:
Quote from: wonderer

And you can not affirm to me that something is objectively right or wrong either, so it seems we are in the same boat, regardless of having different views on the situation.  But then, people having different views on situations is an aspect of morality being subjective.

I'm sorry, but you didn't give any argument for this.


Here you go.

But why would he care about your personal taste if there isn't any objective justice?  You can present all the things that you think are "good reasons" you want, as to why you think he did something morally wrong, but that doesn't mean he did on this view.


I wouldn't be questioning his moral decision making, so much as his business decision making.  I might be subjectively pissed off, and be motivated to do things with consequences the boss comes to regret.  It is only reasonable that my boss understand that I am human and understand how I am likely to react to his decision.  However, I expect my boss to make decisions on a pragmatic basis, and if he considers himself well enough informed on relevant factors to be making a good pragmatic decision, then it is likely time for me to find a different job.


This scenario wouldn't have to do with his poor business decision making at all.  He felt the other guy did better, perhaps even maybe he likes him better, and therefore you get the short end of the stick.  But regardless, I think just your reaction reflects objective values.  For if your manager just had different views on what justice is, or what morality is, much like we have different views on whether vanilla or chocolate is better, than there shouldn't be any reason for you to punish your manager by, "do[ing] things with consequences the boss comes to regret." Why punish your boss?  He didn't do anything wrong.  And certainly not unjust!  In fact, on your managers subjective view, he did what was right!  And so you should actually give him respect because he listened to his conscience and did what was right by him.


I didn't say anything about punishing my boss.  However, if I go to work for a competing company, as a response to how my boss has treated me, that may be a consequence which the old boss regrets.

Furthermore, you seem to be shifting the scenario for your own convenience, because what you initially described sounded like poor business decisions, involving making promises and failing to keep them without explanation, and being oblivious to what his employees are up to.  Then you say, "This scenario wouldn't have to do with his poor business decision making at all."  I'm afraid my impression is that you are likely to simply twist things to fit your conclusion and I'm not interested in participating in such a game.

...It's literally impossible to consistently live out this worldview.


It seems clear that you have misconceptions as to what living out this worldview means.  Understanding morality to be subjective doesn't mean that one won't have moral judgements, or that one's own moral judgements will be particularly dissimilar to what in broad terms is typical for humans.

wonderer wrote: If you would like me to respond to your questions, then I would (subjectively of course) appreciate it if you would have the courtesy to respond to my questions.

I didn't realize I wasn't responding to your questions.  The only one I didn't respond to on your last post was about how long I have been currently employed, which I find irrelevant.


I've asked you a number of questions prior to that last post, which have gone unanswered.  This most recent unanswered question is quite relevant, in that it touches on your judgement as to what are good business practices.   I didn't ask how long you "have been currently employed".  What I wrote was, "May I ask how many years you have been employeed in a full time job?"

So my question about the false dichotomy is still up.


Sorry, I meant to answer that and forgot.  It is clear enough in your own question, but I'll underline for emphasis:

"Would you just say that this was only a disagreement about your emotional personal taste, or would you demand justice!?"

I wouldn't do either.  There is a wide variety of actions I'd be likely to take based upon many circumstances which weren't detailed in your hypothetical scenario.  What action I took wouldn't fall under either of those two options.



wonderer wrote:
That said, there are many many factors which your hypothetical would need to detail for me to even be willing to bother guessing at how I would respond.  And even then, I wouldn't expect that any guess I made (in a vastly different emotional state than I would be in if what was described were the real situation) to be anything other than a very inaccurate guess.

Why did the killer do what he did?  (Was he a soldier conducting a military mission?)

Why was he ruled innocent?  (Does the judge hate me for some reason?)


I don't see how this is relevant either.


Well, I guess we can be confident that you haven't been employed as an attorney or judge.

But to answer your question, I'll detail this completely random situation.  The murderer killed your children because on his moral values, there is nothing wrong with killing other people.  On his moral values, he wants to achieve maximum happiness, and what gives him this maximally orgasmic experience is to kill children.  He was ruled innocent because, even though you were an eye witness to the whole thing, all the members of the jury have different views of what justice is as well as different moral values, therefore a conclusive conviction could not be met.


As JB said, this is a very implausible scenario.  I don't have anything in particular to add to what he said.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 24, 2011, 08:59:09 pm
I'm going to try and keep my responses short because most of them, I'm sorry if this is insulting, are kind of ridiculous.


"Intrinsic value is still a value that we must assign to something to it."

An orange has vitamin C which has nutritious value no matter what you "assign" to it.  Not subjective.

"What is the intrinsic value of an orange ?  Here is the difference, there may be intrinsic value to something, but that value is different then a moral value.  These are 2 distinct concepts and you cannot conflate the two.  The word value can have different meanings.  Gold for example is valuable, but only because we say that it is.  If you gave some primitive tribe a choice between gold and food, the food would have more value to them.  If we use this kind of value for morals then morals are subjective.  While it may be immoral to us to murder those outside of our tribe, it may not be immoral for that tribe to murder those outside of their tribe.

I do not agree that morals made by a group of humans are magically objective, I was simply saying that if you can call something objective because it is no longer limited to the mind of a single person, the it could be said that the morals of a group are objective."

You are being very ambivalent here.  You are going back and forth saying that ALL values are subjective, but than saying that an orange doesn't have moral value.  My guess is you probably understand that something isn't going right with what you are saying, not that I am conflating anything.  An orange has intrinsic value, so your claim "All values are subjective" is patently false.
So I think you skipped an entire paragraph that I posted, so I'll post it again:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set  of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans)  moral values are objective, is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own  species."(William Lane Craig)
So groups of people making a decision is still subjective (on multiple levels actually, not just the one I posted above).

This argument does not help your case.  I can simply say:

This is because, what humans say is moral is what Human's nature is.  And I think in this sense, these things aren't subjective at all.  Rather, our nature is objective in that it is true regardless of what our personal opinions are.

If God's nature is suddenly objective because it is his nature, then our nature is also objective because it is our nature.

Again this fails because:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set  of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans)  moral values are objective[i.e. our human nature], is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own  species."(William Lane Craig)
Nothing objective here.

jbiemans wrote:
It is not simply the reincarnation that makes the difference.  Bhudists believe in reincarnation, and every thing is a reincarnated version of something else.  Hindus believe that cows are sacred for other reasons:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_the_cow_sacred_in_India

That's fine, but you didn't address the point.

jbiemans wrote:
Here is a question for you:

If there are moral facts that are objectively true, then by what process could you demonstrate that they are objectively true.

I can demonstrate that 1+1=2.  I can demonstrate that the oak tree outside exists.  How can you demonstrate that action X ought not to be taken.  Because you think that God said that you ought not ?


The question is irrelevant.  "Do objective moral values exist?" Is a completely separate and distinct topic from "Which moral values are true?"  I don't need to answer the latter in order to prove the prior.  So I w
   ont go into the argument, I'll just tell you what it is.  The Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Furthermore, you never responded to the claim that there isn't wide spread disagreement like you think.  You simply posed this counter question.

jbiemans wrote:
The outcome of the above scenario ultimately can be viewed as immaterial, but you are not taking all of the factors into account.  Each of the people on the boat subjectively value their own lives and would want to keep them.  The scenario changes if one of the people is the child or loved on of another person.  Many times a parent will sacrifice their life for their childs.  It also changes if one of the people is very old and another very young.  The older person may choose to allow the younger person the chance to live as they have already had theirs.  This is not a black and white issue.

That is not the point.  The point is that this scenario actually is evidence for objective moral values, not subjective one's.

Quote from: jbiemans
This again is using this messed up definition of objective.  What happens if I disagree with the moral values that this transcendent being has given ?  Do we have some system of determining who is correct ?  Or is it assumed by fiat that the transcendent being is always right ?

If you disagree than you are wrong.  That's what something means to be objective, it's the very definition of it (not some messed up version hah).  It means that the Nazis, even though they thought they were RIGHT in killing the Jews, were nevertheless, incredibly wrong.  Answered the last two questions above.

Quote from: jbiemans

I know this was at wonderer, but I will give it a go too:

Well I was going to, but this hypothetical that you proposed is crazy.  You are breaking many of the fundamental assumptions that have to be made.  In order for there to be a court that he is tried under, there must be a system of law.  If you are proposing a system devoid of law, then it is understandable.

Perhaps a better scenario is more of a lawless wild west.  A lone gunman comes into town and kills your son.  No one, not even the sheriff will attempt to arrest the person or help you because they simply don't care.
Quote


Now that's exactly my point!!!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  In order of their to be a court, in order for their to be justice of any kind, there MUST be an objective standard.  As I have posted, the ONLY feasible objective standard is a transcendent being, i.e. God.

Quote from: jbiemans
Would I demand justice ?  Well that depends on your definition of justice.  I would probably take matters into my own hands and find my own justice, while at the same time recognizing the disagreement between my personal taste for justice and the taste for justice of the others around me that choose not to help.

The reason that you would "take matters into your own hands" is because you believe that the boss' justice system is WRONG.   For if you believed  that it was right (i.e. it agrees with your own) than there would be no  reason to take anything into your own hands. You would agree with each other.  But you  see, what you propose is not Relativism.  Relativism is the view that  the only realm of morals that you can access is subjectivity (i.e.  All morals are subjective).  This is to say, if your boss believes that unjustness is moral, he believes his  views are right, and you believe your views are right, than on  relativism, you are both right.  But you don't believe this,  intrinsically given by his reaction on what you would do.  The fact that you feel that something needs to be done is evidence of this.
So to me, this just doesn't make since.  Because on your view, the boss is doing something consistent with what you believe, namely, having subjective morals.  So you have to agree that he is doing what is right.  But to say that the boss' morals are wrong is an objective moral claim, of which,  you do not not access to.

That's why Dr. Craig posts these questions for people who believe in the things you are saying.  Do you actually believe that there is no difference between tourturing a child for fun, and loving that child unconditionally?  That these are just morally indifferent acts?  Now of course your response is something like "Personally yeah! I think that's wrong!"  But that doesn't mean ANYTHING... You can have whatever personal taste you want.  But on your view, there is nothing objectively wrong with say torturing a child.  It was right for them, more power to them because it's right for them.  If it's wrong for you, whatever, it's all the same and doesn't matter.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 24, 2011, 11:34:01 pm

And so to say that "our"(humans) moral values are objective, is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own species."(William Lane Craig)


Yes and no. The reality is of course that there are (objectively) certain actions which serve as detriment to our well-being and certain actions which are beneficial to our well-being. Some actions are more beneficial than other actions and some are more detrimental than other actions. It is not a black and white case as theists would pretend it to be but more - as Harris argues - a 'landscape', with highs and lows - mountains and valleys - either objectively better or objectively worse than other actions.

Well-being is of course an objective reality of all living organisms - something all of them strive to attain. It need not be so, perhaps early on there were living organisms that did not attempt to attain any such thing, but all of them are - as a consequence - dead now and hence have no input in this discussion.

That well-being differs from species to species, hence why we see difference in actions.

Of course WLC can say that if we run the clock backwards, a different set of values might have emerged - which is to say that what serves our well-being might indeed be different, and as a consequence right or wrong, (detrimental or benefical), would also be different. But this does not argue against objectiveness - after all, something either is more beneficial to our well-being than another action or it is not. We can objectively say that certain actions cause harm and objectively say that certain actions provide benefit to our well-being. The same is true of any species.

Our 'oughts' rely entirely upon this objective reality. Killing and eating children is objectively detrimental to human wellbeing - fact. You might attempt to argue that fictional man A actually enjoys killing and eating children, hence serving his own wellbeing but in so doing, you're just arguing subjectivity. Yes, the fact is that individuals have subjective opinions - that does not change the objective fact that certain actions serve as detriment to human well-being and certain actions serve as beneficial.

"But why should I care about anyone else but myself?" is a question we would expect from a sociopath, (I hope you weren't planning to ask it), but again you are arguing subjective opinion of one faulty wired individual, (subjective), against the objective fact of human well-being.

Just to make this clear - because I recall someone having problem with this before - you can't say "but, why should your opinion that human well-being is important [I challenge anyone to show otherwise], be taken as any less subjective than the sociopaths?" and consider my argument therefore subjective anymore than you can call a god's moral laws subjective because I disagree with his opinion on homosexuality.

That certain individuals disagree would not - as you must recognise - change the objective fact. Human well-being, ant colony well-being, chimpanzee well-being and fruit fly well-being are all matters of objective fact. That is not to say that you don't find a rogue ant every now and then or a rogue chimpanzee.

For reptiles especially, the notion of 'well-being' differs somewhat in that they are not social, do not largely protect and care for their young etc. But the importance of their 'well-being' is still just as objective a fact - more individually focused than you would see in a social species such as ours.

Now, looking at it from the 'god says, therefore' angle, we see constant attempts to undermine that which is objectively beneficial to our well-being. An example from The Moral Landscape;

'..the god of Abraham never told us to treat children with kindness, but he did tell us to kill them for talking back to us (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7), and yet everyone finds this 'moral' imperative perfectly insane, which is to say that no one - not even fundamentalist christians and orthodox jews - can so fully ignore the link between morality and human well-being as to be truly bound by god's law'

The problem is that in your view - where god's moral laws are objective, you cannot coherently argue against considering the killing of children for going against their parents as objectively moral. "Oh but it doesn't apply to us!!" Typically it turns out to be the theist arguing for subjective, ever changing morality.

One more quote from the same book which I think is extremely important when discussing matters of morality and religion is this;

'If only one person in the world held down a terrified, struggling, screaming little girl, cut off her genitals with a septic blade and sewed her back up, leaving only a tiny hole for urine and menstrual flow, the only question would be how severely that person should be punished, and whether the death penalty would be a sufficiently severe sanction. But when millions of people do this, instead of the enormity being magnified millions-fold, suddenly it becomes "culture," and thereby magically becomes less, rather than more, horrible..'

Jews consistently abuse their young boys, muslims their young girls and both of them - alongside christianity and other such religions - consistently abuse the minds of their young and serve as detriment to the health and well-being of countless humans, (popes statements regarding condom usage and their protests against stem cell research as two such examples - neither of which are based upon any facts, but baseless fantasy) etc. They are given voice when they have not earned it.

One argument in support of religious nonsense is that ultimately the clouding of one's mind does indeed attempt to offer the ultimate in well-being, (eternal life - which wouldn't be important outside of well-being). The problem is it's fictional well-being, not actual well-being, (unless someone cares to show otherwise, which they never will).

Regards,


------

Quotes from; The Moral Landscape p56 & p66

- Please note that the page numbers might not be accurate. I store all my books on an ebook reader which doesn't number the pages directly according to the page numbers as they would appear in paper format.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 25, 2011, 02:46:28 am
@ Wonderer:  I've heard this response before, and there is one elephant of a problem.  It seems that you're asserting that we aren't talking about moral values, but instead truth claims (factual claims).  Made evident in your Hume post about ought vs. is.  Over, if you're going to assert that "all morals are subjective" as a truth claim, than you need to provide evidence for this truth claim.  And this is where the huge problem lies, in that you gave no evidence for subjective moral values.  So there is no reason whatsoever that morals are subjective.  Finally, I'll give at least one form of evidence of objective values:
Relativism Is Not livable: If someone were to tailgate you and then cut you off on the freeway, you might say something like, "What an a**hole! I can't believe he just did that!" But by "I can't believe he just did that, or he shouldn't have done that) You don't really mean "you can't do that, I'm just expressing my  personal preference, please ignore my remark." We believe that this  person just did something objectively wrong, not that it was just a  moral preferential mistake.  So your feelings can be hurt that this  person cut in line, but you can't say anything so to make an objective claim about this person really being an A-hole or not.  On relativism, who are you to say he is an A-hole?  There isn't anything objectively rude about what he did.   So this point of view  is thoroughly inconsistent with everyone's intuitions about the  "shoulds" and "oughts" and "can'ts" that come out of our mouths  regularly.

This is most strongly posed by you Wonderer, when you said to Tisthammerw on 12/05/10 at 09:32 AM, and I quote:
"I can't come remotely close to explaining "exactly" how developing  understanding of science eroded my belief in the possibility of a God  existing,  To put it in a nut shell, I'd say intuitional drift over  twenty years.  It certainly wasn't science in isolation from lots of  other factors such as the problem of evil, as you mentioned earlier."
I think this gives away your case.  As a relativist, you can not say that there is a problem of evil if you do not hold to objective moral values.  If nothing is objective, than there just isn't anything that is evil in this sense.

I'm not shifting the scenario at all.  You've asked me to get more detailed and so I'm giving you moral details.  It seems it's far more likely that you just didn't understand the original point of the scenario if you started off talking about poor business decision making when we are talking about moral values.  It doesn't matter though, I have better evidence so I can just drop this point all together.

This is probably why I didn't answer it Wonderer, we aren't talking about business practices, we are talking about moral values.  I told you that from the start of this question so that you shouldn't be surprised in me not answering it.

I think the false dichotomy fails too.  Your action to leave the business seems to fall under "My boss doesn't agree with my personal taste of what I think justice is, therefore I'm going to leave."

@ Snakey: You response only requires a short reply since you figured out the problem yourself:
"You might attempt to argue that  fictional man A actually enjoys killing and eating children, hence  serving his own wellbeing but in so doing, you're just arguing  subjectivity. Yes, the fact is that individuals have subjective opinions  - that does not change the objective fact that certain actions serve as  detriment to human well-being and certain actions serve as beneficial."
You can not put the burden on me somehow by saying that I am arguing subjectively by saying this.  Your entire post is subjective.  Your claim that human well-being is the set of objective moral values entails people/men who gain well-being by killing young ones.  So I'm not positing some random subjectivity to this, your argument entails it.
Moreover, don't forget Dr. Craigs other example:
"If the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them so that it was universally believed that the Holocaust was right."
So human well-being on your view, would entail killing Jewish people if the Nazis had won WWII (as it would bring them ultimate human well-being to exterminate the Jews).
Even worse, suppose ultimate human-well being entailed doing something morally evil to get there.  Suppose that in order to obtain human well-being for a couple people, it required you to rape a little girl.  Than you would be morally obligated to rape a little girl


Gonna take a rest for a day or two
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 25, 2011, 06:15:42 am
I'm going to try and keep my responses short because most of them, I'm sorry if this is insulting, are kind of ridiculous.

Sorry for the long response, I suppose I got carried away but I wanted to try to address your arguments, but I suppose I should keep it short and sweet then.

Again this fails because:
"If you rewind the evolutionary tape backwards, a very different set of moral values might have emerged.  And so to say that "our"(humans) moral values are objective[i.e. our human nature], is to assert speciesism, a bias of your own species."(William Lane Craig)
Nothing objective here.

You missed my point.  I was not arguing that they were objective.  I was saying that under the way that you are using objective then they are.  If objective simply means not dependent on a single mind, then a group is objective.  If objective means not dependent on a human mind, then you are just begging the question that other minds exist.

The question is irrelevant.  "Do objective moral values exist?" Is a completely separate and distinct topic from "Which moral values are true?"  I don't need to answer the latter in order to prove the prior.  So I wont go into the argument, I'll just tell you what it is.  The Historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.

Furthermore, you never responded to the claim that there isn't wide spread disagreement like you think.  You simply posed this counter question.

I do not think they are as far apart as you think.  Why should I accept that moral values are objective, if you have no method of demonstrating that they are.

The only morals that are wide spread are morals that directly effect the group that you live in.  Do not kill your neighbor, do not steal from your neighbor, do not hurt your neighbor.  Keep in mind that "neighbor" only applies to the people that live directly around you, or your small kin tribe.  This is easily explainable by kin selection though.  There are many other morals listed in the bible that people do not follow any more because they have seen that they are immoral.  Sexism, misogyny, polygamy, genocide, slavery, child abuse:

"He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)

Now that's exactly my point!!!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  In order of their to be a court, in order for their to be justice of any kind, there MUST be an objective standard.  As I have posted, the ONLY feasible objective standard is a transcendent being, i.e. God.

You are putting words in my mouth.  There must be laws, but an objective standard.

If you disagree than you are wrong.  That's what something means to be objective, it's the very definition of it (not some messed up version hah).  It means that the Nazis, even though they thought they were RIGHT in killing the Jews, were nevertheless, incredibly wrong.  Answered the last two questions above.

So you are saying that God is always right by fiat, so that means that you think my list of morals from the bible above are moral.

Sexism, misogyny, polygamy, genocide, slavery, child abuse:

Can you justify the claim that these are moral ?
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: wonderer on January 25, 2011, 08:40:01 am
IK,

I'm not finding myself motivated to discuss this stuff with you.  I'll leave it at that.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Nic Kelly on January 25, 2011, 07:56:08 pm
Quote from: Brunswick
One objection that atheists often make to hell is that it is overkill, because God would be sending someone to hell for an eternity as punishment for sins that they committed during a finite amount of time in this life.  One response that I have often heard from Christians is that it doesn't matter how long it takes one to commit a crime, the punishment is initiated based on the magnitude of the crime.  Ergo, a crime committed against an infinitely great being is worthy of an infinitely great punishment.

As a novice in this field I'll attempt to tread lightly, I've been struck with two points that seem to me to be mis-understandings, BTW I'm always open to correction and greatful for it.  
1. I'm not sure we do ourselves justice in trying to understand hell literally or as a place or punishment. From what I've seen (although hell is constantly described with physical imagery, I believe the term is hyperbole) hell is nothing more than seperation from God, God being all good, the giver and susstainer of life. If hell is simply the absence of God. God who is completely holy or pure goodness is obliged to seperate himself from "the wicked" that being all of humanity.
2. My second concern is from the nature of which we are choosing to discern what is and is not just. As a human my subjectivity is immenently inopportune. I too initially agree with the system of justice set forth in the quoted question, I hesitate though to presume that because the favored opinion is such that God aught to "measure up" to our standards in order to pass, so to speak. If we are trying to understand this God of christianity I believe he needs to be seen as the ultimate empirical conclusion in a personified sense.
I'm curious to know where my thinking is off. by all means give me your feedback
Thanx  
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 25, 2011, 08:08:34 pm
That is interesting.  If hell is separation from God, and God is the sustainer of life, then hell is the separation from life, or more simply put death.  If hell is simply death, then I see no problem with it.  Actually its not a half bad system of justice.  Rather then punish the wrong, you reward the good by bringing them back to life, and you simply leave the dead, dead.

You were so close in the first part;  The punishment is based on the magnitude of the crime.  If you had have stopped there I would have been in complete agreement, but then you make the statement that the punishment should be proportional to who it was committed against.  This is wrong, and the first part is right (IMHO).

As for the last part, basically saying "who are we to attempt to judge God".  This I find is a horrible attitude.  I think that it is always in our best interest to question anyone who claims authority.  Otherwise we could end up following horrible leaders (Hittler comes to mind).  If I cannot judge for myself that God is good or not, then why should I assume that he is good at all ?  Why not assume that he is evil ?  If I cannot judge God's morality for myself, then I cannot know anything about him, and then this whole discussion is futile.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 26, 2011, 01:04:35 am
@ jbiemans: I appriciate your respect and politeness while discussing these topics.  You seem like a nice guy.

-First, I think there is a misunderstanding about what objective means in this argument.  For something to be morally objective, this means that something is moral whether anyone believes in it or not.  This would encompass individuals as well as groups of people.  Second, it doesn't seem that this is beginning the question at all.  I think I've given good enough evidence (from Dr. Craigs work) that if morals do not come from a transcendent being, than there just isn't anything objective about "our moral values".  It's not that I believe in God, and therefore I'm saying they need a transcendent anchor.

-In response to the "morals" in the Bible:  When most people talk about this, they are refurring to God taking life, and saying that this is murder.  I'll post the same response I posted to Snakey about this:
I talked to Snakey about this once already and was hoping that this site  was past it.  About the issue of God taking life, should we than take  this to mean that murder is a moral act?  "According to the version  of divine command ethics which I’ve [Dr. Craig] defended, our moral  duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God.  Since  God doesn’t issue commands to Himself,  He has no moral duties to  fulfill.  He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and  prohibitions that we are.  For example, I have no right to take an  innocent life.  For me to do so would be murder.  But God has no such  prohibition.  He can give and take life as He chooses.  We all recognize  this when we accuse some authority who presumes to take life as  “playing God.”  Human authorities  arrogate to themselves rights which  belong only to God.  God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my  life for another second.  If He wanted to strike me dead right now,  that’s His prerogative."  What that implies is that God has the right to take lives; how long we live and when we die is up to Him.
So for instance, the first part of God's greatest commandment that Jesus said (would is moral) was to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.  However, God wouldn't give this same type of commandment to Himself.  Or say worshiping God, God wouldn't worship Himself.  These are some examples of how this would work.
However, if you're going to say that the Bible condones Sexism, misogyny, polygamy, genocide, slavery, child abuse, you'll need to give some evidence of this.  The burden isn't on me.
Obviously the Proverb verses you gave are not good evidence that the Bible says you should be abusive to your children.  Especially as the entire verse is about punishing your kids because you love them...

@Wonderer: If you do not wish to continue our conversation Wonderer I understand.  I appreciate the brief discussion we did have though.  Maybe some other time .

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 26, 2011, 02:19:18 am
He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are.


This is, as I have explained before, fatally flawed - it defeats any ability of a human to declare that 'god is good'.

WLC is walking down the street one day when he happens upon god in the process of raping a five year old boy. The human side of WLC's brain is saying: "Woah, that's just wrong" whereas the non-human part of WLC's brain is saying: "But he's god, he doesn't have the same moral prohibitions or obligations and no moral duties to fulfill". He cannot say anything at all concerning the 'goodness' or otherwise of such entity other than "If god wants to rape five year old boys, that's his perogative!"

Obviously the Proverb verses you gave are not good evidence that the Bible says you should be abusive to your children


As highlighted on my last post:

Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7). Killing your children is about as abusive as it can get. It is, by being god commanded, a moral obligation.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 26, 2011, 08:45:46 am
Second, it doesn't seem that this is beginning the question at all.  I think I've given good enough evidence (from Dr. Craigs work) that if morals do not come from a transcendent being, than there just isn't anything objective about "our moral values".  It's not that I believe in God, and therefore I'm saying they need a transcendent anchor.

The reason that I am saying that this is begging the question is because you have not demonstrated that these values are objective, and then asserting that because you say they are, therefore this other mind must exist.  If you actually re-read what you said, I agree with your first part.  "If morals do not come from some source other then our minds then they are not objective.  I would simply change "our minds" to "any mind".  Since they come from the mind of God they are subjective.  

Unless of course you want to say that they come naturally from the nature of God, in which case you would shoot your other argument in the foot.  I say this because if morality comes from God's nature, then God must also follow the same morality (because it is his nature, he cannot do otherwise).  There could not be a distinct morality for humans and one for God because our morality and his morality come from the same source, his nature.

There is also another problem with this idea, it renders morality arbitrary.  God could not choose his nature, and could have potentially had any nature.  God could have had the nature of being omni-melovelent.  This would mean that evil things would be moral. etc.  

But it appears that you think it is what God commands us to do that is what constitutes morality, and not what God does himself.  So lets explore where that must take us.  

The commandment says "Thou shall not kill" and then they go on to explain rules on when to kill people.  I think there should have been a * and some exceptions listed.  So lets see the morality that is commanded by God.



Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark 7:9-13, and Matthew 15:4-7:  As snake already pointed out these verses direct you on when to kill your child.

Especially as the entire verse is about punishing your kids because you love them...

Punishing your kids with a rod is showing that you love them ?




http://www.evilbible.com/Rape.htm

There are many verses that allow for rape of women.  The attacker must marry the victim if they are not engaged, if they are then they both are to be stoned. (this also relates to the sexism and misogyny part.  Women were seen as property).

More on sexism:


http://www.evilbible.com/sexism_in_the_torah.htm

1 Corinthians 14: 34. Let your women be silent in the assembly: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be in subjection, as also Torah says. 35. And if they wish to be informed on any subject, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is unbecoming for women to speak in the assembly.



As for the genocide commanded by God, that is pretty self evident.  You can try to justify it by saying they were sinners and deserved it, but aren't we all sinners ?  Its similar justification that allowed the Holocaust because people were able to justify the genocide.

Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.


http://www.evilbible.com/Slavery.htm

There are also verses that allow for slavery, and give commands on how you should treat your slaves.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear.  Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 26, 2011, 08:56:17 am
Sorry for the double post but I wanted to split this up:

On the question of subjectivity.  

Would you say that taste in food is subjectively good or bad ?  or is it objective ?

On an evolutionary model, our taste for food is relative to its nutrition and energy content.  We find high sugar foods to be attractive because that is what we once would have needed to survive.  Now we have abundance and that is what is leading to some obesity problems.  But no matter what your personal taste in food is, you cannot deny that some foods taste horrible to everyone, and for good reason, those foods are toxic.  No one can deny that some foods will cause you harm if eaten, despite what your personal subjective preference is.

The same can be said for morality.  Some actions cause harm, and it is indisputable that those actions cause harm, despite what your personal subjective preference is.

My personal approach to morality is that we should attempt to limit as much harm as possible, while maximizing the benefits of our actions.  No action should be taken if the harm outweighs the good.  Now you will probably complain about "who decides what constitutes harm and good", and that is the question we must have is morality is to continue to develop.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Nic Kelly on January 26, 2011, 08:36:58 pm
jbiemans wrote: That is interesting.  If hell is separation from God, and God is the sustainer of life, then hell is the separation from life, or more simply put death.  If hell is simply death, then I see no problem with it.  Actually its not a half bad system of justice.  Rather then punish the wrong, you reward the good by bringing them back to life, and you simply leave the dead, dead.

You were so close in the first part;  The punishment is based on the magnitude of the crime.  If you had have stopped there I would have been in complete agreement, but then you make the statement that the punishment should be proportional to who it was committed against.  This is wrong, and the first part is right (IMHO).

As for the last part, basically saying "who are we to attempt to judge God".  This I find is a horrible attitude.  I think that it is always in our best interest to question anyone who claims authority.  Otherwise we could end up following horrible leaders (Hittler comes to mind).  If I cannot judge for myself that God is good or not, then why should I assume that he is good at all ?  Why not assume that he is evil ?  If I cannot judge God's morality for myself, then I cannot know anything about him, and then this whole discussion is futile.


Well I'm not sure if the way in which the term death is agreed here. In my view death isn't the end or the finish line but sort of the opposite of life, in perhaps a more virtuous way. We would see love as the opposite of hate in the same way (the biblical God is referred to as both, Love and life that is). Of course when we die we call it death but the bible tends to blend the two together in some ways, I'm not going to die on that mountain top though so I digress. I would hesitate to agree with the last statement in the first paragraph, the bible doesn't say  those who go to heaven are the good guys. In fact the bible says things like : :no one is good not even one" or,  all have sinned all fall short of Gods glorious standard" and "the wages of sin is death". When we think of getting into heaven at least from a biblical perspective we need to recognize it isn't a reward for being "good enough:". This sort of justice, as your referring to it, is seen more in what happens to those that are in heaven, where each one will be accountable for what they have done. Access into Heaven is what Christians get so excited about because its a  free gift, like the presents under a Christmas tree. It would just seem awkward if someone were to obligate me to give them a free gift simply because they tried to be generally good all year.(I understand the stakes aren't necessarily the same but I hope you get my point). The fallacy I believe is in the requirements for entry into heaven, Biblically it's perfection. I can't presume that status for myself. Maybe a good analogy is back in the court room. We agree on the basic forms of justice where you say sending someone to hell is unjust based on the crime. I say its more fitting to see it like this:  Someone being tried in a court room has been invited to sit in he judges seat, and drive home with her, also eat dinner with her and laugh carry on and sleep in the same bed, with his Judge the one who is supposed to be without conflict of interest, formal, professional and just. As long as we see it simply as a law to be followed in order to gain entry we are from my perspective missing the forest through the trees. Heaven is the encounter with God. This is why Jesus could say things like "the kingdom of heaven is upon you". or "you are not far off from the kingdom of heaven". Once actual death occurs the culmination of heaven is realized. I must stop here on this note and remind myself that I am not a theologian, so I don't presume to give an exhaustive explination on this point, although I'm confident that I'm not to far off. I hope I've provided some food for thought. I did want to mention further explanation on the rest of your comments but I feel as though I've offered enough to discuss for now.
Thanks for the feedback . NK
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Dan Stewart on January 26, 2011, 09:12:57 pm
As I said in another thread, God is just. If Hell weren't bad - and deserved - there is no explaining the cross.

Most of the trick here is to portray God as mankind's enemy. Get past that absurdity, and you're basically home free. What's left to bother with?

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 27, 2011, 02:00:05 am
@ jbiemans: So again, they don't come from the mind of God, they are a part of His essential nature.  "God's moral nature is expressed in relation to us in the  form of divine commands which constitute our moral duties or  obligations. Far from being arbitrary, these commands flow necessarily  from His moral nature. In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the whole  moral duty of man can be summed up in the two great commandments: First,  you shall love the Lord your God with all your strength and with all  your soul and with all your heart and with all your mind, and, second,  you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On this foundation we can  affirm the objective goodness and rightness of love, generosity,  self-sacrifice, and equality, and condemn as objectively evil and wrong  selfishness, hatred, abuse, discrimination, and oppression."
So you are conflating Gods necessary moral nature with the moral duties that He commands.
"According to the version  of  divine command ethics which I’ve [Dr. Craig] defended, our moral  duties  are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God.  Since  God  doesn’t issue commands to Himself,  He has no moral duties to  fulfill.   He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and   prohibitions that we are."
I already gave an example of this when I talked about worship (A command what God gives as moral, but God wouldn't worship Himself.)

Aboslutely! Punishing kids for sure shows you them you love them.  Here's a little humor to show you:


The rest of these objections about these verses in the Bible is just Biblical apologetics gone crazy.  I'll address them one at a time (as evident by the website you got them from).
-There are many verses that allow for rape of woman?! You gotta be kidding me... Just take a look at the first story that redicious site gives, Judges 21.  All of the woman in that story are married to their husbands.  Now how they got married might seem strange to us, especially because I can see that you have no knowledge of ancient Hebrew culture.  But where is the rape?  None...
-1 Corinthians 14, First, Paul is talking solely about woman in the church and not in any other format or circumstance.  Now I personally haven't looked into this verse much, so I can't give a great response unless you want to continue to push it till I give you an answer.  However, I think we can see that there is something else going on here in 1 Corinthians 14, when we take into account other verses in the Bible.  When we read in 1 Corinthians itself, we can see that the woman were not remaining silent at all, and it was praised!!
Ex:
1 Corinthians 11: talks about woman praying and prophesying in the Church.  Not to mention verse 11: "Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman."
1 Corinthians 14:5 Women are speaking in tongues and interpreting.
So here we have woman praying in the church, they were prophesying in the church, they were speaking in tongues in the church, they were interpreting in the church.  Woman were NOT being quite!
Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, Male nor Female, for you are all one in Christ."
If you want me to go deeper, I'll try and find the time to do this.  But I think this is enough to refute your claim on this.

-For answers about the "apparent genocide" in the Bible, check out Dr. Craigs Question #16 http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5767

-Slavery?  First, the chapter from Galatians takes care of this.  But furthermore, the purpose of that part in Ephesians was not to talk about slavery.  The NT and OT neither encourages or condones slavery, as its purpose was not to change societal situations.  Rather, it was about how to have practical ways in dealing with the realities of the day.  If you were to post the whole of the verses and not just the little snippet that pleases you, it would go like this:
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6  Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as  slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them,  since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven,  and there is no favoritism with him."

I'll respond to your claim on morality later

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 27, 2011, 03:06:16 am
"Rather, it was about how to have practical ways in dealing with the realities of the day."

Practical ways heh? "I am the Lord thy God. Don't do it!". Short and sweet but kinda makes the point.

P.S I notice you've not responded to the dilemma WLC's statement inevitably faces. I assume you agree with WLC - hence why you quote it - and as such the dilemma is also yours. Whenever you're ready.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 27, 2011, 06:17:36 am
@ jbiemans: So again, they don't come from the mind of God, they are a part of His essential nature.

And again I already addressed that, but I guess it got lost in the length of the post.  Watch:

God's commands are a direct result of his essential nature.
Human morality is derived directly from God's commands.
Therefore human morality is derived directly from God's essential nature.

You see there is no difference between God's commands to humans and his nature, because his commands come from his nature.  But it gets worse:

God's actions are a direct result of his essential nature.
Human morality is derived directly from God's essential nature.
Therefore Human morality is derived directly from God's actions.

Or to make it simpler:

God's morality, Human morality, God's actions and God's commands all come from the same source, God's Nature.

This should mean that they should be the same.  God should not be able to command anything that is against his nature, any more then he could act on something that is against his nature.  If he cannot commit immoral acts, then he cannot command immoral acts either.

Basically anything God says or does is a reflection of his nature, and if his nature is the source of our morality, then anything God says or does is the source of our morality.

Sorry for saying it so many times, but I want to make sure that it is clear.  You cannot say that God did X, but it is immoral for humans to do X, if the above is true.  If you try, that means that you are adding something else to determine what is moral and what is immoral apart from the nature of God.  Can you tell me what that is ?

I will get to the bible verses later.

Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Triptych on January 27, 2011, 02:30:00 pm
@ Snakey:  I wasn't ignoring your post, I just don't have the time to get to everyone one right away hah.
The problem going on here is that you seem to think that God "taking" a life is contrary to His nature (Obviously unlike rape at all, completely contrary to God's nature).  I put "taking" like this to show that there really isn't anything that you earned to have your life.  God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend anyone's life. Life is a  gift from God, and He's not duty bound to prolong your life. He can take it as he sees fit.
So it seems that you are conflating His moral nature with moral duties.  Raping someone who go against both His moral nature and the moral duties which He has given us.  In order to hold to this view, you need to somehow show that by God "ending" a life is in conflict with His moral nature.

@ jbiemans: This part is not wholly correct:
God's commands are a direct result of his essential nature.
Human morality is derived directly from God's commands.
Therefore human morality is derived directly from God's essential nature.
God's commands are based off His nature.  But it doesn't follow necessarily that every part of His nature is a command.  I express this at the bottom.

And this is just an invalid argument:
God's actions are a direct result of his essential nature.
Human morality is derived directly from God's essential nature.
Therefore Human morality is derived directly from God's actions.
*This is saying
-All A have B
-All C have B
-Therefore All C have A
Logically invalid argument.

So this is where your problem lies.  All of our moral duties come from God's nature.  But not all of God's nature is found in all of our moral duties.  Just because God has a moral nature, does not mean that every part of His nature is also part of our duties.  There could be parts of His nature that are not expressed to us through our moral duties.  For example, God's being a just judge and the end of our lives (determining our eternal status) I would say is part of His moral nature, but He has not commanded US to do that.  So we have not place to do such a thing.

So it's wrong for us to take a life because we are not the sustainers of life, God is.  Therefore God commands us not to take life.  However, God is the sustainer of life, so He is in the position to do so whenever He see's fit.  So I think this just a failure to understand WHY taking a life is wrong, and KNOWING that taking a life is wrong.

Hope this answers all your guy's questions.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 27, 2011, 03:40:16 pm
God's commands are based off His nature.  But it doesn't follow necessarily that every part of His nature is a command.  I express this at the bottom.

But you just said this:

@ jbiemans: So again, they don't come from the mind of God, they are a part of His essential nature.

So is it God's commands that constitute human morality, or is it God's nature that constitutes human morality ? (once you confirm I will respond.)

jbiemans wrote:
God's actions are a direct result of his essential nature.
Human morality is derived directly from God's essential nature.
Therefore Human morality is derived directly from God's actions.

*This is saying
-All A have B
-All C have B
-Therefore All C have A
Logically invalid argument.

Thats not what I said.  I did not say that human morality has God's essential nature, I said it was derived directly from it.  Its more like saying this:

A = B
C = B
Therefore C = A

Where A is God's actions, B is God's nature and C is human morality.

God's actions, God's commands and human morality all come from the same source, God's nature.  If they all come from the same source they should all be aligned and similar.

Imagine that you had a rule book for a game.  We both took copies of the same rule book and explained the game to each other.  We should be explaining exactly the same game, should we not ?  Would you expect me to say, well in my version of the game, I am allowed to take 2 turns in a row if I choose.

So it's wrong for us to take a life because we are not the sustainers of life, God is.  Therefore God commands us not to take life.  However, God is the sustainer of life, so He is in the position to do so whenever He see's fit.  So I think this just a failure to understand WHY taking a life is wrong, and KNOWING that taking a life is wrong.

If God commanded us not to take life, then it must be part of his nature to not take life, as God cannot command that which is not part of his nature.  You cannot then turn around and say that God takes life, because then God is doing something against his nature (not to take life).
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Snakeystew on January 27, 2011, 03:57:35 pm
The problem going on here is that you seem to think that God "taking" a life is contrary to His nature


I didn't say or imply any such thing - anywhere.

Clearly, given WLC's statement that "He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are", the opposite is clearly true; This god can do anything it wants an nothing can be said concerning the morality of it. That is precisely the point.

You proceed in saying that such things as rape etc are "against god's moral nature" which is to argue that it's nature is confined to acting in accordance with certain moral understandings, (action A is immoral, action B is moral), but if those understandings differ from our own, you have no valid basis with which to say "god is good".

You then attempt to argue that rape is against his moral nature, (action A is immoral), without any valid justification and against WLC's statement to the contrary - that it has no moral duties and isn't subject to the moral obligations and prohibitions (rape etc) that we are.
Title: defense of hell -- fallacy
Post by: Johan Biemans (jbiemans) on January 28, 2011, 06:13:23 am
love that russel peters sketch, but just because you can laugh at is, does not make it right.

---Aboslutely! Punishing kids for sure shows you them you love them.  Here's a little humor to show you:

Its not just about punishing them, but about using a rod to punish them.  Or, as in the verses Snakey showed, killing them outright for being disobedient.

-There are many verses that allow for rape of woman?! You gotta be kidding me... Just take a look at the first story that redicious site gives, Judges 21.  All of the woman in that story are married to their husbands.

"Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, 'Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn't find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'"  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes."
(Judges 21:10-24 NLT)

This is treating women as property you can simply go and take.  To excuse it because they were "married" is insane.  Imagine this scenario. (hypothetical only so do not get offended).

I go over to your city and then break into your house, kill you and your wife, and then kill any children that you may have that are older the age of consent.  Then I kill any male sons you have.  Then I take your young female daughter and make her become my wife.  Then when she turns 12 (age of consent) we consmiate our relationship.  You think that scenario is OK because I married her first ?!!??!!?

4) Laws of Rape  (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

   If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker?  Answer: God.

5) Death to the Rape Victim   (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

   If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

   It is clear that God doesn't give a damn about the rape victim.  He is only concerned about the violation of another mans "property".


You ignored these.  These commands say that if you rape a women but she does not cry out for help and is within the city, then she gets stoned, etc.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=176658229035343&set=o.302201620116

Nice flow chart showing the laws listed above =)