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Old 07-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #76
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I don't view God as a punishing force.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:33 PM   #77
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He's not a punishing force.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:06 PM   #78
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How can you know that?
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #79
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How do you do know he IS a punishing force?
Sorry to play that kind of card. Once again, I'm no philosopher or theologist.
Also, why would god create life just to punish living things?

But whatever. Anyone on this forum and beyond can believe whatever they want to. I'm not trying to convert anyone. I think everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and express them freely. If we were all the same, the world would be very boring. It's amazing how everyone is so different in how they think.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:05 PM   #80
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Those are good questions but they aren't relevant to an atheist. They are problems for any theist who claims to know God's intentions.

Suffering (and the capacity to suffer) exists as a consequence of the unguided evolutionary process that generated us; that's the ultimate "why" answer. As sentient animals we have to figure out how we should live our lives for ourselves.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:19 PM   #81
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Suffering hurts, but I think it's part of life - It makes it complete. Without suffering we would only be content and we wouldn't want to make our lives better. Likewise, if there was only suffering, life itself would just suck. But a mix between suffering and contentment is just.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:36 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by juliaguliaxo94 View Post
Suffering hurts, but I think it's part of life - It makes it complete. Without suffering we would only be content and we wouldn't want to make our lives better. Likewise, if there was only suffering, life itself would just suck. But a mix between suffering and contentment is just.


have you ever really suffered? do you think people who have gone through genuinely horrible things think that they're better because of it and are glad it happened?
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:48 PM   #83
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I never said people who have suffered actually enjoyed it. I just said that life without suffering is pointless, and life with only suffering is pointless. I'm not even being religious right now. I'm just talking about life in general, with or without a god/gods.

And no, I can't say I've been to hell and back, but I've hurt very badly, for sure. Although I didn't like it, it prepared me for what's to come, and eventually I hope I can become stronger due in part to those experiences. But that's just me. People choose to take what they choose to take from situations and experiences they've been through, and interpret them in different ways. Whether it's optimistic, pessimistic or anything in between, it depends on that person.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #84
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People suffer but it doesn't happen for any higher reasons.

Pain receptors give a reproductive advantage to organisms and we experience the consequences of that in our lives.

It's a strange psychological fact that some people can go through massive events and be content at the end (e.g. the happiness of paraplegics and lottery winners are about the same after a year) but it's also true that our survival mechanisms can leave long term problems and suffering (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder).
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:52 PM   #85
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You have good points. I like to look at pain in physical, emotional, scientific, and religious ways. Some Christians look at pain in a fully religious way that is completely ignorant of what it literally means. The downside of religion is that certain people become blinded by it and are sometimes even driven crazy by it, causing them to do things that embarass me as a Catholic. That's why, at least presently, I could never be truly devout. I need to have other things in my life besides religion, otherwise it may consume me. Whether I completely lose my beliefs in the future or not, the one thing I will always value is simply being a good person, rooted in religion or not. Some of these values we have as humans come naturally don't have to be taught by a church or a school. Some of it is simply human nature.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:19 AM   #86
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I would contend that you cannot judge the morality of an action on the basis of authority and this undermines all religious claims to morality.

An act is good if it reduces the suffering of other beings and no amount of authority could change that. If it happened would God's warrant make the extermination of the Canaanites a moral act?

The finest examples of religious morality are compatible with secular ethics (e.g. the unity of humanity, selfless acts of kindness, civil rights campaigning) but sadly the concept of a deity that has revealed its intentions to people opens up the potential for a lot of evil (e.g. heaven for suicide bombers, the divine right of kings, holy war and genital mutilation).
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:55 AM   #87
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Suicide bombers make me sick. The fact that someone could have such hatred for other religions and be willing to kill themselves to kill others, and then actually believe they will go to heaven, disgusts me. Even worse, an entire population of Muslims become discriminated against due to these extremists and what they do. I will never make assumptions over an entire group of Muslims, or any other group of followers, over the foolishness and selfishness of a portion of that religion.

It makes me sad that religion has caused so much war, prosecution and other travesties in the past. I wish every religion could be true so that there would have been no battle for supremacy amongst groups. However, I really don't think they can all exist together. They contradict each other. Sadly, even if all religions WERE true, there would still be fighting. There's always those people who want to be "the best", even if it's not possible for them.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:38 PM   #88
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But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
--C.S. Lewis
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #89
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God is a concept by which we measure our pain - J. Lennon.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #90
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And now the religious quotes commence...
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