Nidan tagged me in this blog and I replied (because I had been tagged). You can read my response below – note that I did not call anyone any names as nidan claimed in his reply. Apparently he was trying to goad me into responding, because he immediately launched a very dishonest response blog in which he ignored about 4/5ths of my response and replied to a handful of examples of logical contradictions I listed at the end. Here is my response to that if anyone cares to read:
“As I said in the comment I posted today, I was expecting that when @Agnophilo would eventually comment on the previous post, I expected he’d opt for his usual fallacy of bad- mouthing the author, and pretending that, that counters the arguments of the article. And in his comment he did do a lot of childish name-calling while beating his chest like a guerrilla.”
I didn’t call anyone any name in my response to you, but I will call you one now – a lying sack of shit.
“nor did he really address the central thesis.”
Actually I did, you just chose to ignore every part of my commment relevant to the blog and focus on the handful of rhetorical questions at the bottom.
“However, he did ask some great theological questions. You know me. I love discussing these kinds of subjects, so I couldn’t resist taking a stab at answering them. So here are his questions in Red, as always my answers are in blue.”
Would’ve been nice if they were in blue. [Edit: His responses were in black and his blog background is in blue, just to clarify.]
“If God is perfectly good why does he allow evil?
Now that’s one that has been speculated on and debated for centuries. I think the most commonly accepted answer is to permit choice. Logic suggests that for there to be any real choice in life, there must also be the option to chose that which the giver would not want. I’m going to get more into this idea in the answer to the next question.”
Ignoring the question. The question was not “why does god allow evil”, it was to point out the contradiction between an infallible god and allowing/causing fallible things. It is like an infallible architect that builds buildings that fall apart, it is by definition self-contradictory and absurd. But you ignore this and act like my question was about free will.
“But for the moment, I want to get into the larger issue. This question and the ones that follow Agno presented as a “logical problem” that supposedly disproves the existence of the Christian God.”
No, it shows the contradiction in the traditional christian depiction of that god.
“This question fails that agenda in two areas. First: It assumes that a perfectly good God should not allow evil. It’s not unreasonable to ask: Why not?”
Irrelevant to my question. I assume killing people, raping, lying, shitting on your mom and various other things like those that yahweh supposedly not only allows but planned and set in motion, are not what you would consider perfect by any stretch of the imagination. So unless you’re going to tell me that you think nothing imperfect in the world exists (by any definition of imperfection) then you must concede that if there is a god it is an imperfect god who either can’t or won’t have it any other way. But you won’t do that, because you are not honest, as you demonstrated by starting off this blog by lying about me.
“Think of it this way: Agno is saying his idea of a perfectly good deity is a deity that would allow no choice. (At least by the brief answer above, and there are others that have been given over the centuries.)”
I said nothing of the sort. More strawman BS. I in effect said that 1 + 1 doesn’t = 5 and you’re arguing against the proposition that 1 + 1 = 3, something which I never said, in an effort to avoid the issue.
“I’m not going to dispute if that’s better or not, because it’s entirely possible that Agno is right and his idea of paradise might be better. (Not that our current life is necessarily paradise, I’m just saying…) But Agno’s assumption, does beg the question of why his view of a “perfectly good” deity is more valid than the generally accepted Christian view. Thus invalidating the reason he asked. The second reason is of less significance. and was already addressed. It doesn’t even address the thesis of the post on which it was commenting.”
I said nothing about paradise, I just pointed out the contradiction.
“If god is all knowing and opposed to sin, why didn’t he prevent Adam and Eve from eating the apple? This is just an extension of the first question. And likewise, it fails to back up Agno’s purpose for posting it on the same grounds. How does Agno know what the definition of “perfectly good”? Even if he’s right about God, that only means he can say (And with a margin for error) what is good for him.”
The words “perfectly good” do not appear anywhere in the question, you’re changing the question again like you did before. And god violates almost every ethical standard known to man, even his own. I could sit here all day listing accounts in the bible of god saying something’s a sin and then turning around and doing it himself.
“However as a theological point the question does brings us back to the subject of choice. There are two primary trains of Thought on the Garden of Eden story. First: That it is a metaphor for our relationship with God. We start off innocent, then give in to temptation, then seek redemption. The second train is the way Agno would like the question addressed, however. As though it’s a story based on actual events. So that’s the way I shall address it. The real question Agno wants to know is how God can be benevolent and still give us free choice. (The whole reason for putting the “apple” as he calls it, in the garden was to give us choice, after all. That is a detail universally agreed on.)”
Is god infallible? Is god all-knowing? And is god benevolent/good? Because he can’t be all three simultaneously and allow evil to exist, it is self contradictory. If you are saying that giving us free will is the lesser of two evils then fine, but it is still not perfect.
“I do wonder why Agno (Being an Atheist) would view a God that gives us choices as a bad thing.”
More things I never said. You’re playing fast and loose with the 9th commandment.
“Sure the ability to chose has cause a great deal of strife and mayhem in human history. But it’s also given us a great deal of good as well. It was Hellen Keller who pointed out: The world is full of great suffering, but it’s also full of overcoming it. Keller would later say: We would never learn to be patient or brave if there was only joy in the world. I defer to Keller in knowing what it’s like to suffer.”
Uh huh, if you want to argue that there is a net effect thing going on or that good and evil are inter-twined in an eastern yin/yang sort of way then fine – but kiss the idea of an infallible deity goodbye.
“On a real interesting note, there is also a second part to Agno’s question here, that is also entwined to the last two questions. By using the words “all knowing” in the question Agno seems to be suggesting that God didn’t know Adam was going to eat the fruit. There is no passage in scripture that I’m aware of, where it is said that God didn’t have foreknowledge (Or was even surprised for that matter) of Adam’s decision.”
No, I didn’t say that – you did. And again used something I didn’t say to insult me. What an asshole.
“I can chalk this up to a lack of study on Agno’s part, and the way some atheists interpret verses 9 and 11, when God questions the man. However any parent knows that when one asks such questions that does not necessarily mean the parent doesn’t already know the answer. The parent is merely giving the child the opportunity to answer honestly.”
If you paid any attention to the context of the question you’d know that I was pointing out the logical contradiction between omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence and the existence of evil, but then you might have to actually deal with that.
“All that’s bad enough, but in truth, I’ve seen a lot of Christians who see Yeshua’s coming and subsequent events as a sort of plan B. As if the garden thing didn’t work out so God decided we’ll do this instead. However there is no scripture that backs this idea up. In fact the first chapter of John says the opposite. And I’ll get a lot more into that under the last question.”
So god’s plan A was thousands of years of sin, misery and barbarism? And you believe he is perfect?
“If God forbids jealousy and coveting as sinful, why is he jealous and covetous?
I don’t know any passages in scripture that identify God as covetous. It’s likely that Agno is applying the term to God as his own interpretation of god’s commands and/or actions in a particular passage. Without knowing what that passage may be, it renders that part of his question unanswerable. The jealousy part though has long been known and is easily understandable with a little bit of knowledge of Greek. In common modern day America we tend to use the the word Jealous synonymous with envy. The New Testament however uses the Greek word zelos. (Same as what we get the words Zeal and Zealot from, and the latter is still often used as a pejorative by many Atheists.) It is a word that can be and sometimes in scripture was used negatively, (Romans 13: 13; II Cor 12: 20) but it is also often used in a positive way in Scripture. (2 Cor 11: 2-4) (I Cor 12:31) (I Cor 14:1,39)”
You’re kidding me, right? Scripture describes him as jealous and vengeful against those who don’t bow down and worship him throughout scripture. I searched the bible for “jealous” and the third hit was:
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”
What, next you’re going to tell me you don’t know where that’s from?
“So when scripture describes God’s jealousy, it doesn’t necessarily mean what a 2000th century American may think it means.”
Yes, it does. “Worship me or else I will punish you” sounds pretty jealous to me.
“Why didn’t god just forgive us?
This next question is heavily connected to the last question. And it has a very simple answer. God DID just forgive us. That’s the whole reason why Yeshua died on the cross.”
How dishonest. What I said in context was “Why didn’t god just forgive us? Why did his son have to die before he could forgive us?” It was extremely clear that I was saying why didn’t god just forgive us instead of having his son tortured, bludgeoned and impaled to death first, but Nidan The Dishonest One pretended I was asking “why didn’t god forgive us” as if I was a dolt who had never opened the bible in my life.
“As a scapegoat (If you will) for our sins. Scripture is quite clear that God’s salvation is a free gift: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6: 23, Titus 2: 11, and so on, and so on…..”
Yes, because scapegoating people is so moral. I know if I’ve done something bad I think an innocent person should die horribly for it. God sent an innocent man to his death… in his perfect morality.
“Why did he send his son to die before he could forgive us?
The last two questions I started on a detailed answer too. But I can’t really fit it into the confines of this particular post. So I shortened the answer to the previous question and will be doing a second post on these two questions next week.”
The previous answer was the same question. I did not put these in a bullet point as separate questions, he’s being dishonest.
“And with a fuller answer answer. That said these are among the great theological questions that scholars have pondered since the dawn of mankind. So don’t expect me to top their thoughts. I just really wanted to address the subject is all.
Now some of you are going to look at these answers I gave and maybe say something like, “Yeah ,of course, that makes sense!” Given that many of you have read my blog for so many years for a reason. (You likely agree with me on several points.) But I would like everyone to keep in mind that these answers couldn’t possibly satisfy Agnophilo. No answer that conflicts with his world-view is ever going to satisfy him.”
I used to be christian, now I’m not anymore. How many times have you changed your mind you hypocrite?
“That was not my purpose in posting all of this. But still, his comment was a wonderful opportunity to look deeply at some good questions. So that’s why I wanted to do this post. To delve into deep theological thought. So please don’t anyone be surprised or upset at his response. He’s only doing what Agno does.”
You’re a pathetic lying scoundrel, that’s what you do. I responded to your blog (which you tagged me in, I don’t even frequent your site anymore) and was perfectly civil, the only thing I said that might have been considered offensive is that you would likely blow off my response – and that is only because you invariably did when I commented on your site a long time ago.
“Finally if you’re unsure or disagree with something I said let’s remember (Acts 17:10-11) My best friend what saying the other day that he believes most ministers don’t allow their flock openly question them. Of course most of you know that’s not true, and I’m certainly not your minister, but I still want to extend the opportunity to all my readers, please feel free to challenge and question me.”
Really? When I challenge or question you you make shit up about me to try to make me look bad to your readers. But then I’m an atheist so I guess I don’t count, right?