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"God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

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    #31
    Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

    Originally posted by Serinity View Post
    I find from what I read.. That they are more or less, assuming God's will. We do not know God's will.
    This is essentially it. Their entire argument depends on the assumption that God has no good reason to allow X to occur. However, they cannot possibly demonstrate that such an assumption is true, so the entire argument is meaningless.

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      #32
      Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

      Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
      To say that the definition of good is 'whatever God does' is dangerous. You are opening up the door to immorality.

      Why? Because you are giving permission to people to do bad things in the name of God. They might say, it's ok to wipe out this society, because we think they are devil worshipers and God says we ought to destroy this kind of people.

      You're teaching them to override their natural morality. You're redefining good - and not in a 'good' way.
      You have yet to provide an alternative objective definition for the term "good" yourself.

      Moreover dangerous ≠ false. How dangerous a concept or idea is, is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. How dangerous an idea is, is only relevant when you've already accepted the idea to be false to begin with, so you basically tell yourself "let everyone else believe this idea, as long as they're not harming anyone else I don't care".

      Fortunately as theists, we have an objective, theological, and ethical framework to categorically condemn the immoral. Something non-theists lack. We do not treat other religions as subjectively valid alternatives to the divine, and only then is this an issue at all. We categorically reject all other faiths as incorrect. So no, I'm not giving everyone the license to do whatever they want in the name of whatever god they believe in, since I only believe in One God. This license only exists, as far as I'm concerned, with regards to what this One God, commands mankind to do.

      Comment


        #33
        Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

        Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
        You have yet to provide an alternative objective definition for the term "good" yourself.

        Moreover dangerous ≠ false. How dangerous a concept or idea is, is irrelevant to whether it is true or not. How dangerous an idea is, is only relevant when you've already accepted the idea to be false to begin with, so you basically tell yourself "let everyone else believe this idea, as long as they're not harming anyone else I don't care".

        Fortunately as theists, we have an objective, theological, and ethical framework to categorically condemn the immoral. Something non-theists lack. We do not treat other religions as subjectively valid alternatives to the divine, and only then is this an issue at all. We categorically reject all other faiths as incorrect. So no, I'm not giving everyone the license to do whatever they want in the name of whatever god they believe in, since I only believe in One God. This license only exists, as far as I'm concerned, with regards to what this One God, commands mankind to do.
        So long as you say that the definition of good is 'what God does', then you leave it open for people to do anything they want and say 'this is what God wants'.

        Comment


          #34
          Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

          Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
          This is essentially it. Their entire argument depends on the assumption that God has no good reason to allow X to occur. However, they cannot possibly demonstrate that such an assumption is true, so the entire argument is meaningless.
          Sounds quite arrogant and presumptuous.

          I mean, so what? Allah willed it, Allah created. Do we know why Allah did it? Yes, in the Quran. But without the Quran we wouldn't know, so we search. Allah knows best. Why question Allah? It is pointless.

          It is like saying "Why did Allah create this and that" duhh. Cuz He wanted to. One of Allah's attributes are All-knowing and all-wise, so we can deduce that NOTHING Allah does is in vain.

          It is like saying "Why did Allah create Hitler?" etc.. You are essentialy and implying you know better than Allah. May Allah protect us. Ameen.

          Nothing wrong with questioning, but I do have a problem with people assuming God's will.
          Last edited by Serinity; 05-03-16, 06:42 PM.
          La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa 'ala kulli sha'in Qadir
          (there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him; His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent),'
          Do not say about Allah but Truth.

          Comment


            #35
            Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

            Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
            So long as you say that the definition of good is 'what God does', then you leave it open for people to do anything they want and say 'this is what God wants'.
            This is a completely emotional argument. Given the conditions provided in the post you quoted... so what? If those people really are doing what God wants, then they have my full support.

            Comment


              #36
              Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

              Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
              This is a completely emotional argument. Given the conditions provided in the post you quoted... so what? If those people really are doing what God wants, then they have my full support.
              But are they actually doing God's will? They say they are. But others say different.

              There isn't even agreement within islam, let alone elsewhere.

              Comment


                #37
                Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                But are they actually doing God's will? They say they are. But others say different.

                There isn't even agreement within islam, let alone elsewhere.
                How we can know whether what one does is in accordance with God’s commands, is a secondary discussion that’s not relevant to the topic at hand. I’d rather you be an ignorant, deviant Muslim, than remain in your disbelief. And I didn’t say whoever claims to be doing as God commanded him, can go on to do whatever they want.

                Comment


                  #38
                  Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                  Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                  How we can know whether what one does is in accordance with God’s commands, is a secondary discussion that’s not relevant to the topic at hand.
                  No it's not. Because it's too easy to claim that what you're doing is 'God's command' and then do exactly what you wanted to do in the first place.

                  There are some crimes that you should know are always wrong and you don't need a set of scriptures to tell you.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                    Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                    No it's not. Because it's too easy to claim that what you're doing is 'God's command' and then do exactly what you wanted to do in the first place.

                    There are some crimes that you should know are always wrong and you don't need a set of scriptures to tell you.
                    It is irrelevant, because it’s an entirely internal discussion amongst theists (and for disagreements between Muslims, an internal discussion between Muslims) that should be of no concern to an atheist. The more serious matter for the non-theist, is that he cannot claim something is objectively good or bad in the moral sense, because the natural world (and science as a discipline) is amoral. Sure, you may feel certain practices are morally abhorrent, but at the end of the day (as far as your worldview is concerned) that’s just your opinion, and someone who holds a different opinion, should not be treated as one who is any more, or less correct than you are.

                    You're essentially trying to shift the discussion from one about moral ontology, to one about moral epistemology. We're discussing the origins of moral values, and specifically if the "problem of evil' is a valid concern. We're not discussion how we can arrive at specific conclusions based on a given ontological framework. If we can agree on that moral ontological framework (that being good means acting in accordance to the commands of God) then you're not justified in your atheism to begin with. You would be however, justified in being a non-muslim theist, in which case we can have a second discussion about the hows, i.e. whether or not a non-muslim theist is justified in claiming that their ethics come from the divine, and vice versa.

                    As a second important point, the existence of disagreements within a particular field, does not mean the whole field should be done away with. It is your job to investigate each claim and then judge for yourself which makes more sense to you. The mere fact that different religious beliefs claim to have received their ethics from the divine, is not sufficient to prove that all of them are wrong.

                    And like I already told you before, I didn't say whoever claims to be doing as God commanded him, can go on to do whatever they want.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                      Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                      It is irrelevant, because it’s an entirely internal discussion amongst theists (and for disagreements between Muslims, an internal discussion between Muslims) that should be of no concern to an atheist. The more serious matter for the non-theist, is that he cannot claim something is objectively good or bad in the moral sense, because the natural world (and science as a discipline) is amoral. Sure, you may feel certain practices are morally abhorrent, but at the end of the day (as far as your worldview is concerned) that’s just your opinion, and someone who holds a different opinion, should not be treated as one who is any more, or less correct than you are.

                      You're essentially trying to shift the discussion from one about moral ontology, to one about moral epistemology. We're discussing the origins of moral values, and specifically if the "problem of evil' is a valid concern. We're not discussion how we can arrive at specific conclusions based on a given ontological framework. If we can agree on that moral ontological framework (that being good means acting in accordance to the commands of God) then you're not justified in your atheism to begin with. You would be however, justified in being a non-muslim theist, in which case we can have a second discussion about the hows, i.e. whether or not a non-muslim theist is justified in claiming that their ethics come from the divine, and vice versa.

                      As a second important point, the existence of disagreements within a particular field, does not mean the whole field should be done away with. It is your job to investigate each claim and then judge for yourself which makes more sense to you. The mere fact that different religious beliefs claim to have received their ethics from the divine, is not sufficient to prove that all of them are wrong.

                      And like I already told you before, I didn't say whoever claims to be doing as God commanded him, can go on to do whatever they want.
                      Is morality objective? I don't know, but we can say that there are certain rules that every society follows. For instance, all societies have prohibitions on murder and incest. But only one tells you not to play music.

                      There is also something that looks like morality in nature. All other species also avoid incest, and most avoid murder of their own species (except those that are not social creatures in the first place). Is that genetic? Is it instinct? Is is morality? Is it different from human morality? I don't know. But what it does tell you is that creatures can organise themselves socially to at least some degree without the need for a religion.

                      In that limited sense, morality does have an objective existence.

                      The problem with saying that whatever God does is good, is that you are opening the door for God (or God's followers) to do 'bad' things (eg genocide) and justify it by a certain reading of scripture. You are removing the ability of people to recognise something is wrong, without the need of a scripture to tell me.

                      If I see a glossy video of a man being tortured and burned to death, I know it's wrong. I don't need to check on a scripture to see if I'm right.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                        Is morality objective? I don't know, but we can say that there are certain rules that every society follows. For instance, all societies have prohibitions on murder and incest. But only one tells you not to play music.
                        Not true on both accounts. Many communities used to perform ritualistic human sacrifices (what you would consider murder, as mentioned earlier), and many more- even amongst the very sophisticated civilizations- practiced incest. Incest was very common in ancient Persia for example. A huge clash of values occurred when the Muslims conquered the Sassanid empire because of this.

                        Also the Amish people dislike music, last I read about them, so we're not alone in this lol.

                        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                        There is also something that looks like morality in nature. All other species also avoid incest, and most avoid murder of their own species (except those that are not social creatures in the first place). Is that genetic? Is it instinct? Is is morality? Is it different from human morality? I don't know. But what it does tell you is that creatures can organise themselves socially to at least some degree without the need for a religion.

                        In that limited sense, morality does have an objective existence.
                        But how can you translate those observations, into objective and binding moral duties? How are you able to conclude that seeing another animal do something, automatically means we should do the same? Social animals like lions for example, do kill the cubs of other males to take over the pride. Some dolphin and shark species are only able to reproduce by essentially raping their females. Why pick some values from the natural world, but not all?

                        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                        The problem with saying that whatever God does is good, is that you are opening the door for God (or God's followers) to do 'bad' things (eg genocide) and justify it by a certain reading of scripture. You are removing the ability of people to recognise something is wrong, without the need of a scripture to tell me.
                        Already answered this multiple times before. For the third time, I didn't say whoever claims to be doing as God commanded him, can go on to do whatever they want. And I didn't say the source of morality was necessarily limited to scripture, rather I said that the source of morality is necessarily God. God can communicate moral values without using scripture. In fact, we believe Allah ﷻ created humans with what we call a "fitra", which is a natural inclination to do good, that all humans are born with.

                        Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                        If I see a glossy video of a man being tortured and burned to death, I know it's wrong. I don't need to check on a scripture to see if I'm right.
                        According to your worldview, you would indeed be unjustified in condemning this man being tortured to death, because like I said before, at the end of the day that's just your opinion. And the people doing the torturing, are simply expressing a different opinion from yours that is equally as valid (given the amorality of nature). If you feel so strongly about the objectivity of morality, then the most consistent way of living your life would be to live it as a believer in the Creator. For if objective morality is being able to impose on the natural universe we're part of, how things should or should not be, or how things ought or ought not be, then it follows that morality comes from a Designer who has the authority to impose such objective values.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                          Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                          According to your worldview, you would indeed be unjustified in condemning this man being tortured to death, because like I said before, at the end of the day that's just your opinion. And the people doing the torturing, are simply expressing a different opinion from yours that is equally as valid (given the amorality of nature). If you feel so strongly about the objectivity of morality, then the most consistent way of living your life would be to live it as a believer in the Creator. For if objective morality is being able to impose on the natural universe we're part of, how things should or should not be, or how things ought or ought not be, then it follows that morality comes from a Designer who has the authority to impose such objective values.
                          Yet in actual practice, it was someone's idea of 'doing God's will' that resulted in a Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, to suffer this exact fate last year.

                          Anyone looking at that video should know instantly that a great crime has been committed. Instead of that, we get arcane debates and a resort to forgotten scriptures, in order to show that somewhere back in 1400 years of Muslim history, somebody said this was ok.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                            Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                            Yet in actual practice, it was someone's idea of 'doing God's will' that resulted in a Jordanian pilot, Muath al-Kaseasbeh, to suffer this exact fate last year.

                            Anyone looking at that video should know instantly that a great crime has been committed. Instead of that, we get arcane debates and a resort to forgotten scriptures, in order to show that somewhere back in 1400 years of Muslim history, somebody said this was ok.
                            Once again, an emotional argument that's irrelevant for the reasons mentioned in post #39. And you have yet to respond to most of the questions I've posed. I hope you're actually absorbing what I'm telling you, and not simply ignoring it.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                              Originally posted by karkooshy View Post
                              Once again, an emotional argument that's irrelevant for the reasons mentioned in post #39. And you have yet to respond to most of the questions I've posed. I hope you're actually absorbing what I'm telling you, and not simply ignoring it.
                              I'll summarise what I think. Yes, religion provides a moral framework. But it's objective only if everyone believes in it. That's not objective in the way that 2 plus 2 equals 4 is objective.

                              Can you have a moral framework without religion? Yes you can. Europe is so secular in many areas that you can't say it's religion that holds society together any more. Yet society does hold together. And it does a perfectly good job of it in its own terms (ie it exercises sufficient control over the behaviours it seeks to control - which obviously does not include the consumption of pork and other specific measures).

                              As far as we know from anthropology, moral structures arise in all societies. In most of them, some form of religion also arises. It takes over the moral structure and reforms it in its own image. You can argue about which came first - religion or morality - the chicken or the egg - but given the similarity with animal behaviours in other apes, it seems to me reasonably certain that the morality comes first. To put it crudely, it has an evolutionary advantage. But we're different from animals and our behaviours, our morality, has become a whole lot more complicated.

                              That morality is suited to the needs of the society it evolves in. As Jared Diamond has argued in The Day Before Yesterday, the needs of very small societies (bands) are different from that of civilisations. So you get different moralities, different religions.

                              So where does leave the claim that religion provides an objective morality? Looking pretty opaque, I'd say. Secular societies like the UK have built a different morality built on certain principles. Such as, equality of opportunity and respect for other people's life, property and liberty. These are general principles, not detailed law, so the resulting rules that are intended to enact those principles are in a state of constant flux. But the principles behind them are constant.

                              Are the principles objective? Yes - but of course, we could choose not to follow them any more. Why don't we? Because we recognise that it's a good deal for everyone. It seems that you can arrive at morality by logic after all.

                              Religion does not provide a barrier against arbitrary injustice. The moment you say that good and evil is defined simply by what God does, you are opening up the door to more Muath al-Kaseasbehs.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Re: "God doesn't exist, because otherwise He wouldn't allow X to exist"

                                Originally posted by ExNihilo View Post
                                I'll summarise what I think. Yes, religion provides a moral framework. But it's objective only if everyone believes in it. That's not objective in the way that 2 plus 2 equals 4 is objective.

                                Can you have a moral framework without religion? Yes you can. Europe is so secular in many areas that you can't say it's religion that holds society together any more. Yet society does hold together. And it does a perfectly good job of it in its own terms (ie it exercises sufficient control over the behaviours it seeks to control - which obviously does not include the consumption of pork and other specific measures).

                                As far as we know from anthropology, moral structures arise in all societies. In most of them, some form of religion also arises. It takes over the moral structure and reforms it in its own image. You can argue about which came first - religion or morality - the chicken or the egg - but given the similarity with animal behaviours in other apes, it seems to me reasonably certain that the morality comes first. To put it crudely, it has an evolutionary advantage. But we're different from animals and our behaviours, our morality, has become a whole lot more complicated.

                                That morality is suited to the needs of the society it evolves in. As Jared Diamond has argued in The Day Before Yesterday, the needs of very small societies (bands) are different from that of civilisations. So you get different moralities, different religions.

                                So where does leave the claim that religion provides an objective morality? Looking pretty opaque, I'd say. Secular societies like the UK have built a different morality built on certain principles. Such as, equality of opportunity and respect for other people's life, property and liberty. These are general principles, not detailed law, so the resulting rules that are intended to enact those principles are in a state of constant flux. But the principles behind them are constant.

                                Are the principles objective? Yes - but of course, we could choose not to follow them any more. Why don't we? Because we recognise that it's a good deal for everyone. It seems that you can arrive at morality by logic after all.

                                Religion does not provide a barrier against arbitrary injustice. The moment you say that good and evil is defined simply by what God does, you are opening up the door to more Muath al-Kaseasbehs.
                                I think you’ve been misunderstanding what I meant by "objective" this whole time. Objective does not mean popular. Objective means independent from anyone’s opinion, geographical location, or era. Objective means that if every single human being on earth thought rape was morally acceptable, and rape was objectively immoral, then every single human being on earth would be wrong. You do not have to have agreement concerning a particular moral proposition, for it be objective. How many people believe in it, is besides the point.

                                And I didn’t say you could not have a moral framework without God. You absolutely could. But it would be a subjective one, and it would not be morally, any more or less correct than any other framework. So one who believed in this God-less moral framework, would not be justified in condemning crime X as objectively wrong. They would only be able to condemn crime X as far as their own opinion is concerned, and the opinion of those perpetrating the crime would be just as valid.

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