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Is God responsible

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14th Sep 2007, 14:23  

mat says:

God is typically described as being all-powerful. therefore anything that happens happens as a result of his (or her) action or inaction. So the answer must be 'yes'. Either she makes natural disasters happen, or by inaction she lets them happen - knowing they will kill innocent people.

So we either have an interventionist God who likes killing innocent people (for whatever ineffable reasons) - and who would worship such a terrible entity? The old "it's a test of faith" argument is rubbish - why would such a powerful deity indulge in petty (yet murderous) "testing" - when it already knows what everyone is thinking (that's what omniscient means).

Or we have a hands-off God, who deigns itself not responsible for anything that has or will happen, and therefore might as well not exist. At best, we have a God who doesn't give two short shits about humanity; at worst, no God at all.

So, although the answer is yes, the reasons don't matter. Either explanation results in either no God, nasty God, petty/murderous God or utterly indifferent God. None of which are the type of God I think the publishers want to exist.

Easy. Next question. :)

14th Sep 2007, 14:54

crickson says:

Well said.

14th Sep 2007, 14:59

where do all the disposible biros go

14th Sep 2007, 15:23

OJ says:

Because they're too busy fighting a rearguard action against whatever the latest moral panic of the day is to put their eyeliner on straight Crickson.

Thanks mat, on a tangent as usual, you have got me humming one of my favourite songs.

"I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know darling that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you"


14th Sep 2007, 15:29

crickson says:

Oi, that wasn't me!

14th Sep 2007, 15:42

split personality crickson?

14th Sep 2007, 16:16

Spike says:

and OJ, off one of my favourite albums.

have you heard much grinderman

14th Sep 2007, 16:40

Joe says:

I was about to go off on a tirade when I read the title, but as usual, mat has been far more succinct and accurate than I could hope to have been....if I could highlight comments, I'd highlight that one :)

14th Sep 2007, 16:46

MaggieD says:

Mat got in first, and much more succint and accurate (just as Joe says) than anything I could produce at such short notice .... coincidently I am half way through The God Delusion .....

14th Sep 2007, 17:00

Joe says:

How are you finding it Maggie? I got it for my birthday in July, I found it good, but a little arrogant...not at all like the selfish gene

14th Sep 2007, 17:02

Salome says:

It gets rather tiresome about 2/3 way in, I thought, but then perks right up again at the end. I agree with Joe that it was a bit arrogant, but Dawkins is at his best when he is lauding the freakish animal that is humanity, IMHO.

14th Sep 2007, 17:29

OJ says:

The opening lines of the album in fact Spike. No, I've not heard much Grinderman. I prefer Cave spare and pointedly dark to loud and gnashing. Would I like Grinderman?
Sorry Crickson, someone seems to have edited posts so I can't check who asked the question. I took it in jest. .

14th Sep 2007, 17:43

MaggieD says:

Joe, mmm. liked the beginning, but the further into it I got, the more 'irritated' I became (agree with Salome here) ... I haven't finished it yet, didn't think that I ever would, but yet again Salome's comments makes me think that I should ...

14th Sep 2007, 18:06

anonymous says:


I got a wee bit trigger happy and accidentally deleted the post - sorry.....

14th Sep 2007, 18:06

Rich says:

The trouble with Dawkins is that his rhetoric is blatantly not going to convert anyone unless they've already got doubts in that direction anyway. Which is great for those people, but for beliefy believers you need a slightly more subtle argument than "if you believe in god you're a tard".

And Grinderman's a pretty good album. I'm not normally a massive fan of Cave, but I like this. Make of that what you will.

14th Sep 2007, 18:14

MaggieD says:

Can't say that I think the subtle approach will have any effect on the fundies either ... but nor do I think calling them 'tards' (which I don't think Dawkins does, or not in so crass a way) ... I would go for the political arguement .... cynical marxist, me .....

14th Sep 2007, 18:28

Spike says:

If i were to go out and say OJ, No, I dont think you would. for example "no pussy blues" its rather abrupt.. stick to cave and his rather naughty seeds!

14th Sep 2007, 18:43

hildegard says:

Theodicy, theodicy... one of my favourite words...
Agree that Dawkins preaches to the choir. Which is nice if there are atheists out there needing validation, I guess. He didn't bother to familiarise himself overmuch with philosophy of religion, much less yer actual theology, which does seem rude - not like he can't keep up.

CS Lewis did a nice job of defending the Xian perspective in The Problem of Pain. Insufficient, but a good effort & keeps to a nice, consistent working trot all the way round the school. Would recommend it to anyone (who I didn't think would believe it).

There's Kierkegard's approach to belief - the moment of acceding to a religious faith is inherently absurd & has to be accepted as such (even Tertullian has his; "I believe because it is ridiculous"). Mat's points are entirely reasonable & sufficient proof against Deism (see also David Hume "On Miracles", section X of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; fun, fun, fun til Daddy takes the sedan chair away, as far as it goes) but since faith in divine objects is absurd, reason cannot prevail over such faith.

Something of a problem. We've probably all been doorstepped by beaming, glassy-eyed Believers & probably all experienced that big warm, fuzzy wall beyond which they may not/ will not think.

Under such circumstances, one is always inescapably reminded of the order to the troops of the 13th century Cistercian Abbot, Arnaud Amaury, prior to the masssacre at Béziers; "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius."
("Kill them all; God will know his own." - sounds so much nastier in Latin.)

Ah, feel so much better now. Time to burn a volume of Anthony Flew the Apostate... Mwa haha....! ;D

14th Sep 2007, 21:55

MaggieD says:

Will take a look at CS Lewis's The Problem of Pain (have never come across this)...

14th Sep 2007, 22:18

540air says:

Personally, I think mat's original comment sums it up perfectly, and like Joe, if I could highlight comments, that would get one.

14th Sep 2007, 23:42

headless says:



15th Sep 2007, 15:54

MaggieD says:

Mmmm, taking the fo tiss here ....

15th Sep 2007, 16:06

headless says:

Pic 3

From the same publication....

15th Sep 2007, 19:41

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