More on the Divine Plan

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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More on the Divine Plan
« on: November 22, 2010, 02:29:27 AM »
I've seen several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists, which suggests the potential for atheists to think as theists. After all, someone without an education, and/or someone with faced with extreme hardships, and/or someone raised in a religious environment is much more likely to have a religious outlook on life. Theists also speak of divine intervention as an experience that strengthened or gave them faith.

This applies to those people who's life experiences are beyond that person's control, where they grew up in a world without those experiences, and who consequently become atheists.

I'd hate to think this way but...
I am not really any different than any other human. Statistics say that if I were subjected to the right conditions from birth, it is exceedingly likely I too could be a religious zealot.

My question is a simple one. If god is omniscient and omnipotent, he knows what environmental factors he could change to guide a person to theism but chooses contrary ones putting them at a religious disadvantage. For every person who would be a theist if they were exposed to the right social environment, perceived miracles, et cetera, they are given an environment contrary to those mentalities, god is in essence choosing their destination for them.

I suppose this argument lies in parallel with the flaws of predetermination and choice, as well as a derivative of the argument from evil, but I don't know that it's been explicitly mentioned.

...
Why must all my philosophical posts be at 5:30 am? [/rhetorical]
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 03:42:41 AM »
How are you any less likely than say....Brian Welch?




I would argue he had less of a chance of becoming religious than you do. 

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Lorddave

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 04:13:45 AM »
Any being who considers worship to be a measure of morality deserves no worship and has no morality.
I am a terrible person and I am a typical Blowhard Liberal for being wrong about Bom.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 04:18:03 AM »
Any being who considers worship to be a measure of morality deserves no worship and has no morality.

Which being are you referring to?

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 07:01:54 AM »
I've seen several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists,
And does this imply that it is correct?

which suggests the potential for atheists to think as theists.
Wat?

After all, someone without an education, and/or someone with faced with extreme hardships, and/or someone raised in a religious environment is much more likely to have a religious outlook on life. Theists also speak of divine intervention as an experience that strengthened or gave them faith.

This applies to those people who's life experiences are beyond that person's control, where they grew up in a world without those experiences, and who consequently become atheists.

I'd hate to think this way but...
I am not really any different than any other human. Statistics say that if I were subjected to the right conditions from birth, it is exceedingly likely I too could be a religious zealot.

My question is a simple one. If god is omniscient and omnipotent, he knows what environmental factors he could change to guide a person to theism but chooses contrary ones putting them at a religious disadvantage.
You made a logical fallacy.

You assumed a correlation between environment of upbringing and religious beliefs is a causal relationship between them.

You are still working under the hypothesis that believing in god is enough to get you in heaven.

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Lorddave

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 11:27:30 AM »
Any being who considers worship to be a measure of morality deserves no worship and has no morality.

Which being are you referring to?
Any and all. From a giant ape to humans to a being of infinite power.
I am a terrible person and I am a typical Blowhard Liberal for being wrong about Bom.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 02:08:09 PM »
I've seen several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists,
And does this imply that it is correct?
No. This is an introductory section explaining the scope of my response.

You made a logical fallacy.

You assumed a correlation between environment of upbringing and religious beliefs is a causal relationship between them.
I cited statistics to reiterate the fact that it is a likelihood, not a certainty. Originally, I left out "Statistics say that" and made what appeared to be a claim, and decided to acknowledge that environmental factors having influence over someone is up for still up for debate.

That being said, it is my contention that environmental factors are relevant, because changing the one variable for a group from another control group reveals this trend, regardless of whether or not they are directly related or another hidden variable is connecting them. If the correlation is a result of indirect ties to the true cause, environment can still be considered a relevant condition (perhaps to allow the circumstances of the hidden variable).

Quote
You are still working under the hypothesis that believing in god is enough to get you in heaven.
It's called a premise.


I would argue he had less of a chance of becoming religious than you do.  
I am not concerned with the specifics (Me vs Brian).
I am concerned about the imbalance of obstacles to heaven. You just admitted to the god's test being biased against certain people more-so than others. How is that fair?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 02:10:02 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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fluffycornsnake

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 04:19:06 PM »
Quote
You are still working under the hypothesis that believing in god is enough to get you in heaven.
It's called a premise.

I can't think of any major religion in which that is the case.

'You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.' James 2:19

I am concerned about the imbalance of obstacles to heaven. You just admitted to the god's test being biased against certain people more-so than others. How is that fair?

Again, no religion ever claimed that life is fair. But this does not refute the claim that God will judge fairly.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 05:06:13 PM »
I would argue he had less of a chance of becoming religious than you do.  
I am not concerned with the specifics (Me vs Brian).
I am concerned about the imbalance of obstacles to heaven. You just admitted to the god's test being biased against certain people more-so than others. How is that fair?

Im saying after the age of accountably, certain lifestyles can make things a little more difficult.  But I think this testimony shows that anyone regardless of upbringing or lifestyle can change they way they think about certain things.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 08:41:25 PM »
Im saying after the age of accountably, certain lifestyles can make things a little more difficult.  But I think this testimony shows that anyone regardless of upbringing or lifestyle can change they way they think about certain things.
Except lifestyles are chosen. I'm not talking about choice, I'm talking about outside influence.

Someone was talking about signs relatively recently elsewhere on TFES, and I think his life (albeit fictional) demonstrates how things beyond his control have a large impact on his faith. Two experiences acted as triggers, one that made him lose faith and one that helped him regain it. Assuming god and heaven exist, he was graced with the second trigger allowing him into heaven. Had the second thing not happened, he would have been condemned to hell. Makes kind of a large difference for something beyond his control.  ;)
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2010, 09:13:43 PM »
The OP reminds me pretty much as an argument for determinism and against free-will. Was this your intent?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2010, 10:13:41 PM »
The OP reminds me pretty much as an argument for determinism and against free-will. Was this your intent?

No, but I did recognize the shared fundamental dynamics.  :P

I suppose this argument lies in parallel with the flaws of predetermination and choice, as well as a derivative of the argument from evil, but I don't know that it's been explicitly mentioned.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2010, 03:31:12 AM »
Im saying after the age of accountably, certain lifestyles can make things a little more difficult.  But I think this testimony shows that anyone regardless of upbringing or lifestyle can change they way they think about certain things.
Except lifestyles are chosen. I'm not talking about choice, I'm talking about outside influence.

Someone was talking about signs relatively recently elsewhere on TFES, and I think his life (albeit fictional) demonstrates how things beyond his control have a large impact on his faith. Two experiences acted as triggers, one that made him lose faith and one that helped him regain it. Assuming god and heaven exist, he was graced with the second trigger allowing him into heaven. Had the second thing not happened, he would have been condemned to hell. Makes kind of a large difference for something beyond his control.  ;)

I see what you mean, but there is still a choice.  Using your analogy, the first "trigger" could have brought him closer to God.  Happens all the time in real life. 

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 07:32:49 AM »
Im saying after the age of accountably, certain lifestyles can make things a little more difficult.  But I think this testimony shows that anyone regardless of upbringing or lifestyle can change they way they think about certain things.
Except lifestyles are chosen. I'm not talking about choice, I'm talking about outside influence.

Someone was talking about signs relatively recently elsewhere on TFES, and I think his life (albeit fictional) demonstrates how things beyond his control have a large impact on his faith. Two experiences acted as triggers, one that made him lose faith and one that helped him regain it. Assuming god and heaven exist, he was graced with the second trigger allowing him into heaven. Had the second thing not happened, he would have been condemned to hell. Makes kind of a large difference for something beyond his control.  ;)

I see what you mean, but there is still a choice.  Using your analogy, the first "trigger" could have brought him closer to God.  Happens all the time in real life. 

How exactly is there a choice? You don't get to choose when a "trigger" presents itself to you.

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John Davis

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 10:21:46 AM »
Any being who considers worship to be a measure of morality deserves no worship and has no morality.

Which being are you referring to?
Any and all. From a giant ape to humans to a being of infinite power.
What metric would you you apply to all?  Or would you not apply any universal metric?
Quantum Ab Hoc

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 12:35:17 PM »
Perhaps the term "measure" isn't the issue since morality has never really been perceived in units. ;)
Moreover, it is a vague continuum, made usable by relative comparisons.

As I understand it, we can say that no being who creates a system assigning worship as a function of morality (or vice versa), is actually immoral  and undeserving of worship. ...Since morals are generally defined by fair interaction of multiple entities (morality would be meaningless if there was only one being in existence), establishing a system that demands acts of devotion strictly to himself (promoting imbalance) rationalized by inherent supremacy and without logical cause... is ultimately immoral.

As long as there is no reason to worship him (other than to stroke his ego), but he uses his power to indulge himself at our expense, I can't imagine anyone construing him as completely moral.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 12:44:00 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 05:54:54 PM »
How exactly is there a choice? You don't get to choose when a "trigger" presents itself to you.

No, but the argument could be made that what you do after that "trigger" is.


Singularity?

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 07:20:54 PM »
How exactly is there a choice? You don't get to choose when a "trigger" presents itself to you.

No, but the argument could be made that what you do after that "trigger" is.


Singularity?

That is rather Singularity's point. Some people receive triggers, some do not. That means that God is predetermining whether or not he wants an individual to go to heaven or not.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2010, 03:00:33 AM »
That is rather Singularity's point. Some people receive triggers, some do not. That means that God is predetermining whether or not he wants an individual to go to heaven or not.
Just confirming that this is accurate.
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Benocrates

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2010, 01:36:45 PM »
Perhaps the term "measure" isn't the issue since morality has never really been perceived in units. ;)
Moreover, it is a vague continuum, made usable by relative comparisons.

As I understand it, we can say that no being who creates a system assigning worship as a function of morality (or vice versa), is actually immoral  and undeserving of worship. ...Since morals are generally defined by fair interaction of multiple entities (morality would be meaningless if there was only one being in existence), establishing a system that demands acts of devotion strictly to himself (promoting imbalance) rationalized by inherent supremacy and without logical cause... is ultimately immoral.

As long as there is no reason to worship him (other than to stroke his ego), but he uses his power to indulge himself at our expense, I can't imagine anyone construing him as completely moral.

I'm really trying hard to respond to this argument, but I can't really make sense of it. I'm afraid there might be a logical error in your composition. Re-state plz?
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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2010, 01:52:28 PM »
I've seen several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists,
And does this imply that it is correct?
No. This is an introductory section explaining the scope of my response.
response to what? it was stated in your op to the thread.

You made a logical fallacy.

You assumed a correlation between environment of upbringing and religious beliefs is a causal relationship between them.
I cited statistics to reiterate the fact that it is a likelihood, not a certainty. Originally, I left out "Statistics say that" and made what appeared to be a claim, and decided to acknowledge that environmental factors having influence over someone is up for still up for debate.



That being said, it is my contention that environmental factors are relevant, because changing the one variable for a group from another control group reveals this trend, regardless of whether or not they are directly related or another hidden variable is connecting them. If the correlation is a result of indirect ties to the true cause, environment can still be considered a relevant condition (perhaps to allow the circumstances of the hidden variable).
You are still working under the hypothesis that believing in god is enough to get you in heaven.
It's called a premise.
[/quote]

Regardless of syntax, your logical fallacy stands. Furthermore, you are changing the thesis of the discussion constantly and it is impossible to debate with you since you had not made a clear claim. Trying to poke at grammar is more than a clear indicator that you needed to retort at any cost and keep your "intellectual credibility".

I will address the question you had posted in your op:
My question is a simple one. If god is omniscient and omnipotent, he knows what environmental factors he could change to guide a person to theism but chooses contrary ones putting them at a religious disadvantage. For every person who would be a theist if they were exposed to the right social environment, perceived miracles, et cetera, they are given an environment contrary to those mentalities, god is in essence choosing their destination for them.

Red text - Yes.

Green text - How do you know what religious disadvantage is?

Blue text - How do you know that they are given opposite environmental conditions than the ones that would inspire them to believe in God. And, of course God would choose the direction for them if he was omniscient and omnipotent.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 01:59:52 PM by parsec »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2010, 06:39:02 PM »
I've seen several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists,
And does this imply that it is correct?
No. This is an introductory section explaining the scope of my response.
response to what? it was stated in your op to the thread.
My response to those "several advocates of the notion that atheists can chose heaven by becoming theists". It is quoted above.

That being said, it is my contention that environmental factors are relevant, because changing the one variable for a group from another control group reveals this trend, regardless of whether or not they are directly related or another hidden variable is connecting them. If the correlation is a result of indirect ties to the true cause, environment can still be considered a relevant condition (perhaps to allow the circumstances of the hidden variable).
You are still working under the hypothesis that believing in god is enough to get you in heaven.
It's called a premise.
Regardless of syntax, your logical fallacy stands.

A premise is an acknowledged assumption; not a fallacy. It just mean the argument only applies under those conditions. Premises allow us to make progress in thought experiments. For instance, virtually everything you think starts with the premise that the universe exists.
Also, I do not see why you think my argument has changed, but you are free to ask questions if you think the post is unclear.

Quote
I will address the question you had posted in your op:
My question is a simple one. If god is omniscient and omnipotent, he knows what environmental factors he could change to guide a person to theism but chooses contrary ones putting them at a religious disadvantage. For every person who would be a theist if they were exposed to the right social environment, perceived miracles, et cetera, they are given an environment contrary to those mentalities, god is in essence choosing their destination for them.

Red text - Yes.

Green text - How do you know what religious disadvantage is?
I don't have to know what they are for them to exist. ...Unless you are denying environmental causation? Or are your denying the possibility for religious mentalities to be diminished by experiences? I can only attempt to give theoretical examples, but I am not omniscient. If that denial is a product of your thinking that religious influence can't be confirmed, I'd agree. I was giving the most intuitive example I could think of to to use as a figurehead for any 'nurture' influences.

If your objection more universal than a possible example, the implied existence of causation, I'd concede that yes, causation is another interesting argument which I was going to leave alone for simplicity of this one. For a practical discussion in an unrelated matter, I optimistically assumed we could all agree that causation by environmental factors is reasonable, but if considering it a premise of its own helps, I'd be happy to clarify it as such.

Quote
Blue text - How do you know that they are given opposite environmental conditions than the ones that would inspire them to believe in God. And, of course God would choose the direction for them if he was omniscient and omnipotent.

I am not using real people in this example... I am defining them to be 'on the fence' between theism and atheism just as I am defining their experiences to be constructive or destructive to certain beliefs.
For the bolded part, I'm not sure what your trying to say. Is this asking for justification for a conclusion that if god had those qualities he would not behave this way? Because I don't belief I made that conclusion. Are you asking how I can comment on god's role in the divine plan? Because that's definitional.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 09:40:54 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2010, 06:57:00 PM »
I'm really trying hard to respond to this argument, but I can't really make sense of it. I'm afraid there might be a logical error in your composition. Re-state plz?
Of course.
Sorry, but my posts have been a but rushed as of late, but I will attempt to reaffirm and summarize my thoughts for that post:

I defined morality as consistent with and/or a derivation of healthy and balanced societal interactions. Basically that moral relationships and behavior are not parasitical in nature.

God imposes a system that forces humans to worship him.
Provided there is no logical cause for the worship and that worship is his emotional benefit, god basically is helping himself to what he desires at the expense of humans. He punishes all who do not conform to his system. He is demanding an imbalanced relationship, while appealing to force to enforce it. That is what I was alluding to as immoral.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2010, 09:41:34 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2010, 07:19:14 PM »
A premise is an acknowledged assumption; not a fallacy.
It is an assumption, but not necessarily acknowledged by everyone. A fallacious premise is one of the most common fallacies.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2010, 08:25:15 PM »
A premise is an acknowledged assumption; not a fallacy.
It is an assumption, but not necessarily acknowledged by everyone. A fallacious premise is one of the most common fallacies.
I cannot know if god or heaven exists nor how he determines who is granted entrance. I cannot know if causality exists. I cannot know if the universe exists.
...By adopting a specific groups' beliefs for your premises, you can establish a framework to for further deduction. A majority of the religious premises I use of are not something I would personally entertain, and thus the results of the investigation to not yield new conclusions or changes of perspective for me. However, it does shed light on the implications of those base beliefs. Fallacious premises are only a concern if you are looking for sound logic to convince someone to adopt a new perspective, not when shed more light on an existing perspective of those premises. Heck, the premise/conclusion format is even often used to prove that its own premises are incorrect.

I do appreciate your point and I do ultimately consider it a valid concern, but I also would have considered it to be valid point if you said I had assumed the universe to exist.   :)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 08:29:02 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2010, 09:20:50 PM »
...By adopting a specific groups' beliefs for your premises...
And what group would that be?

I do appreciate your point and I do ultimately consider it a valid concern, but I also would have considered it to be valid point if you said I had assumed the universe to exist.   :)
Sure smells like herrings around here. And, is it just me, or did everything turn red all of a sudden?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2010, 09:50:16 PM »
...By adopting a specific groups' beliefs for your premises...
And what group would that be?
Um, the ones who hold the beliefs I listed as premises. You should be able to deduce them, and not all the sects have specific names to account for their deviating beliefs.

  • If they don't believe in god, any conclusions don't apply.
  • If they don't believe in causation, any conclusions don't apply.
  • If they don't believe that religious belief is relevant to entrance to heaven, any conclusions don't apply.
I can go on if you need me to.

I do appreciate your point and I do ultimately consider it a valid concern, but I also would have considered it to be valid point if you said I had assumed the universe to exist.   :)

Sure smells like herrings around here. And, is it just me, or did everything turn red all of a sudden?
That last part was intended to be solely diplomatic and respectful way to conclude our discussion, but I see it is a wasted effort. Ironically, you are claiming it to be a red herring while actively avoiding addressing the rest of my post above that line. Here, let me redirect you to the part you are accusing me of avoiding:

Fallacious premises are only a concern if you are looking for sound logic to convince someone to adopt a new perspective, not when shedding more light on an existing perspective of those premises. Heck, the premise/conclusion format is even often used to prove that its own premises are incorrect.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 09:52:30 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
If I was asked to imagine a perfect deity, I would never invent one that suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Christians get points for originality there.

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2010, 11:17:17 PM »
If they don't believe that religious belief is relevant to entrance to heaven, any conclusions don't apply.

And this is the crucial point that you finally admitted.

Here's a well know riddle:
if God had revealed themselves to human kind through prophets as the true God and Lord and a person did not hear the news that those prophets had spread during their lifetime, would they be damned to eternal punishment just on the premise that they had not believed?

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Benocrates

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Re: More on the Divine Plan
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2010, 09:40:30 AM »
I'm really trying hard to respond to this argument, but I can't really make sense of it. I'm afraid there might be a logical error in your composition. Re-state plz?
Of course.
Sorry, but my posts have been a but rushed as of late, but I will attempt to reaffirm and summarize my thoughts for that post:

I defined morality as consistent with and/or a derivation of healthy and balanced societal interactions. Basically that moral relationships and behavior are not parasitical in nature.

God imposes a system that forces humans to worship him.
Provided there is no logical cause for the worship and that worship is his emotional benefit, god basically is helping himself to what he desires at the expense of humans. He punishes all who do not conform to his system. He is demanding an imbalanced relationship, while appealing to force to enforce it. That is what I was alluding to as immoral.

Not having done a detailed reading of the thread, I assume the Euthyphro problem and Kantian ethics have been brought up?
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