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Thread: Is God Evil?

  1. #121
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    As you do your religion? Pot, meet kettle.

    It's hard to discuss IF God is evil when your response will reflexively be "God can't be evil".
    Even harder to do if your response will reflexively be "God can't exist." Which is what you apparently aren't understanding. There are plenty of other "does God exist" threads, so take your angst out there.
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  2. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Or don't believe in fairy tales.

    I swear, and theists call atheists smug.
    You dont need to believe in fairy tales to believe in God, I can see the truth in some fairy tales but I dont believe in all of them.

    Smug? Oh, oh right, I see you had like a whole other point going on there, sorry, oh well, I stand by what I said, I'll try and find the author but there was a good fantasy writer who wrote novels about both Christian-ish themes and faerie (I think that's spelt correctly).

    Thankfully there's enough Iron to keep the blighters at bay these days and they're not sneaking out to make off with your kids and leave changlings every time you leave the little 'uns out on the porch to enough the mild weather in their crib or hamper or what have you.

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  3. #123
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    You dont need to believe in fairy tales to believe in God, I can see the truth in some fairy tales but I dont believe in all of them.
    I wouldn't bother responding to provocative caricatures if I were you The scarecrow needs some new brains!

    Smug? Oh, oh right, I see you had like a whole other point going on there, sorry, oh well, I stand by what I said, I'll try and find the author but there was a good fantasy writer who wrote novels about both Christian-ish themes and faerie (I think that's spelt correctly).
    C.S. Lewis? If so, just about everything he wrote was either indirect Christian apologism (by way of allegory) - the "Narnia" stories, and some of his Sci-fi; or direct apologism - such as "The Screwtape letters". He must have been doing something right, whether as an apologist who presented his ideas creatively, or a creative writer who was motivated by apologism, since his work has been so wildly popular.
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  4. #124
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    You dont need to believe in fairy tales to believe in God, I can see the truth in some fairy tales but I dont believe in all of them.

    Smug? Oh, oh right, I see you had like a whole other point going on there, sorry, oh well, I stand by what I said, I'll try and find the author but there was a good fantasy writer who wrote novels about both Christian-ish themes and faerie (I think that's spelt correctly).

    Thankfully there's enough Iron to keep the blighters at bay these days and they're not sneaking out to make off with your kids and leave changlings every time you leave the little 'uns out on the porch to enough the mild weather in their crib or hamper or what have you.

    How do you spell tall and conceited in three letters? E-l-f, yeah, I said it.
    Ahh, come on, C.S. Lewis was the last of the utterly-intolerable Anglicans (who don't live in Ulster, that is)! And certainly, from history, you can understand how smug Christians of a different variety can be, especially when they're "in charge" of things.

    It's part of the big problem with apologetics, and part of the reason I enjoy discussing this subject with you. With apologetics, the assumption is that the religion is in a position of weakness, and the moral thing to do is defend it. Your great perspective arises from that you actually do live in a part of the world where being religious is nowhere near a given. However, for an American to act in the role of "fidei defensor" comes off the wrong way, because in this country, faith is a given, and not something that needs defending (see "Atheists are the most distrusted minority" thread). Recent studies have put the percentage of the population claiming a faith who have none at 15-20%.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    C.S. Lewis? If so, just about everything he wrote was either indirect Christian apologism (by way of allegory) - the "Narnia" stories, and some of his Sci-fi; or direct apologism - such as "The Screwtape letters". He must have been doing something right, whether as an apologist who presented his ideas creatively, or a creative writer who was motivated by apologism, since his work has been so wildly popular.
    Both Lewis and Tolkien were committed Christians... and Tolkien had a hand in converting Lewis.

    I'm actually not sure why Lewis' work is so popular with the evangelicals, since there are theological ideas in his works don't mesh with their doctrines, if you actually pay attention to what he's saying and where he's coming from. It's kind of funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's part of the big problem with apologetics, and part of the reason I enjoy discussing this subject with you. With apologetics, the assumption is that the religion is in a position of weakness, and the moral thing to do is defend it. Your great perspective arises from that you actually do live in a part of the world where being religious is nowhere near a given. However, for an American to act in the role of "fidei defensor" comes off the wrong way, because in this country, faith is a given, and not something that needs defending (see "Atheists are the most distrusted minority" thread). Recent studies have put the percentage of the population claiming a faith who have none at 15-20%.

    Pretty much it's the norm here. If you say you don't believe there is a God (and by that, meaning the Christian God), you're looked at as if you have two heads. Even people that don't go to church talk about God as if he was a given.

    And yet inside the community, it's very much a worldview of "Christianity is under attack and we need to defend it!" mindset. That's how I was raised, and I remember feeling that way until my mid-20's or so when I started to get out into the external world from that environment and realize the perceptions were different outside.

    To get back to one of the main conflicts in the thread: Since the OP does specifically focus on Biblical/Christian God criticism, I'd say the topic is really, can the God described in the basic Christian Bible be legitimately viewed as evil based on the Biblical picture and on what basis? I don't think we need all the sparring (from BOTH ends) on whether or not God exists, we can save all of our obnxiousness for the thread topic.
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  6. #126

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    George McDonald, Lilith and Phantastes are good places to begin I'd say, Lilith has Christian iconography, well, in so far as it features Adam and Eve I think.

    Jennifer you're spot on the money about CS Lewis, it was Tolkein who succeeded in winning him over from pretty militant atheism to faith and possibly could have won him over to RCC but for the fact that Lewis was an ulster protestant and couldnt be reconciled to it as a result of his up bringing.

    There's plenty in both his fiction and non-fiction which would displease an evangelist, the whole idea of a mere christianity surely is an insult to anyone who believes in schismatic history.

    Besides that, well, Lewis thought that purgatory was plausible and that a passage in the bible to do with drinking poison and remaining unharmed meant that obeservant RCs who didnt join the protestant ascendency could still be saved.

    Tolkein absolutely hated Narnia and it was part of their eventual fall out, probably more so than religion, but considering that Tolkein invented a language, heraldry, dynastic history etc. to support his stories its not surprising, plus Tolkein's tales had more to do with serious research in Norse myth than obvious Christianity.

    Poul Anderson is the only one to have written in the same train as Tolkein and his books are possibly better, Broken Sword and Three Hearts, Three Lions are absolutely masterpieces, I loved Mid Summer Tempest too but some people think it was a lousy sequel to the others.

  7. #127
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And yet inside the community, it's very much a worldview of "Christianity is under attack and we need to defend it!" mindset. That's how I was raised, and I remember feeling that way until my mid-20's or so when I started to get out into the external world from that environment and realize the perceptions were different outside.
    The idea that "Christianity is under attack" is not completely without merit, because there are real reasons why Christians might feel this way (which I'll explain below). In reality a Christian might see something that doesn't fit with their worldview and then have a vague feeling that something isn't right. Looking for an explanation for their feelings the only option they're given is the Fox News narrative that there is a vast left-wing conspiracy perpetrated by the "liberal media". :rolli:

    In reality there are two small but influencial groups that are out of touch with the majority of America: the entertainment industry and academia. These groups often say/show things that are out of line with mainstream values, but it's really because they are out of touch instead of some vast conspiracy.

    It should be pretty clear that New York/Hollywood entertainment is out of touch. Here's an innocuous example: before the show "The Office" there was almost no comedy about an office environment even though this is a very common environment for Americans to work in. The movie "Office Space" was pretty much it, and the show "The Office" really only got started because it was a remake of a British show. The Entertainment Industry as a whole really has no clue what the life of the average American is like.

    Then there is academia, specifically college professors. They have always been far removed from the norm of society, but previously it wasn't as much of an issue. However during the past couple of decades college enrollment has really picked up. So now the majority of Americans are being educated by a group that really has little involvement with mainstream life (and mostly has no desire to be involved with mainstream life). And it should go without saying that a university is generally a highly secular environment where religion is tolerated at best.

    So when people see both the TV and academia telling them things that don't gel with their values they know something is out of whack, but often they can't quite put their finger on it. Academia can't provide the solution, because they are part of the problem. The only explanation people have for this phenomena is Fox News. So they end up believing in the vast liberal conspiracy instead.
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  8. #128

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    To be honest I think that athiesm in academia is popular because its an intellectual attack on both the, perceived, establishment and, perceived, common people, its got appeal to left or right wing temperament, plus you're never liable to piss off your sponsors or have the trouble that a genuine dissident intellectual would have.

  9. #129
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    Actually, I feel like the complaints revolve around lifestyle changes in the general culture at large... something that "mainstream America" experiences every day.

    Most Americans don't involve themselves with academia nor care what academia has to say on a day-to-day basis. And the entertainment industry sells whatever will bring in the most money, so it is part of a cyclical [i.e., it both drives AND is driven by] reflection of the mindset of the bulk of money-spending Americans.

    When Christians bitch about Christianity being under attack, the bulk of it comes from feeling like one is in the middle of a moral avalanche as the cultural values in the world you interact with on a daily basis are shifting away from your own values... leaving you floundering and feeling unsupported and isolated as a minority.

    They then look for someone to blame. The entertainment industry is to blame, academia is to blame, and as you state, Fox news is to blame (for pushing the "liberal media conspiracy" button). But they are all scapegoats. In reality, if the culture still gelled with their Christian values, no one would be looking at any of these things.

    The problem is that culture is becoming something that many Christians don't want it to be, and they don't have any grounds to stand on if all faiths are equally unprovable. Considering that Christianity has long tried a modernist approach (until the 70-80's, when postmodern and pentecostal/emotive style faiths started to come more into vogue), losing the very certainty that made faith unnecessary is a pretty scary thing unless you truly have faith on something abstract (God) rather than on something tangible (like the Bible).

    People don't like having their "proof" taken away; hence, the culture should be viewed as hostile, and since academia and higher thinking is partly responsible for their "proof" being taken away, let's brand them as an enemy as well. And entertainment is just a bad influence and is corrupting people to believe immoral things are okay... although we keep spending our money on it.

    IOW, the world without Christianity being in charge is an uncertain, unpalatable, and very scary place to exist. I find those accusations dominated mostly by fear.
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  10. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    When Christians bitch about Christianity being under attack, the bulk of it comes from feeling like one is in the middle of a moral avalanche as the cultural values in the world you interact with on a daily basis are shifting away from your own values... leaving you floundering and feeling unsupported and isolated as a minority.
    To be honest, this goes for ideologies as much as religion, perhaps more so, being under attack means you matter and indifference is the ultimate insult.

    Its perhaps a terrible reflection of human nature but the ideologies which have endured and got even more popular are those which can conjur up the biggest, baddest enemies. There's a total ego trip to it, like how important are we, not only does the very future hinge on us but everyone is out to get us.

    One of the things which panicked Ulster Unionists in Northern Ireland was when the IRA gave up its armed struggle, did everything that the international arms decommissioning bodies and inspectors asked of them etc. Really hard to play cowboys and indians if no ones going to be indians.

    They then look for someone to blame. The entertainment industry is to blame, academia is to blame, and as you state, Fox news is to blame (for pushing the "liberal media conspiracy" button). But they are all scapegoats. In reality, if the culture still gelled with their Christian values, no one would be looking at any of these things.
    Well I think there has been objective liberalisation of the media, changes have taken place, the difference is that instead of seeing it as a matter of fact, misadventure maybe but a matter of fact all the same if you're looking for hand of your enemy in things you'll find it.

    So what was a matter of fact becomes something threatening, the threat is at once frightening and exciting, I'd say more the later than the former because its the later that motivates, the former, if its truly felt will just provoke despair.

    Thing about this research though is I'll bet that athiests will use it the same as Christians would evidence that Christianity is despise somewhere, some how, they'll revel as well as express shock and horror. It all means the game is afoot.

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