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  1. #11
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    ^I thought so, but then I got thrown off by his inclusion of the word 'benevolent'.
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  2. #12

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    It wasn't a typo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Are you suggesting that God will reward equally those who believe in him and those who don't?
    Yes. My concept of an "all-benevolent" God would do this. Kind of like how some parents still love their children even though their children might despise them for some or all of their post-pubescent lives. The parents don't love their children any more or less because of their actions.

    Real love is unconditional. I don't think it is asking too much to expect unconditional love from God, of all beings. If it is too much to ask, it would be an understatement to say I am not impressed.

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notjeffgoldblum View Post
    Yes. My concept of an "all-benevolent" God would do this. Kind of like how some parents still love their children even though their children might despise them for some or all of their post-pubescent lives. The parents don't love their children any more or less because of their actions.

    Real love is unconditional. I don't think it is asking too much to expect unconditional love from God, of all beings. If it is too much to ask, it would be an understatement to say I am not impressed.
    Hmm...

    How do you deal, then, when one of your children is being horribly taken advantage of by another one who has no desire or inclination to change? What's your mechanism for justice and protecting the weaker from abuse?

    (In my mind, it's not really a question of whether "God" would "love all his children" or not, any parent would grieve over a lost child; it's a question about the power dynamics and love vs selfishness.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #14
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notjeffgoldblum View Post
    It wasn't a typo.



    Yes. My concept of an "all-benevolent" God would do this. Kind of like how some parents still love their children even though their children might despise them for some or all of their post-pubescent lives. The parents don't love their children any more or less because of their actions.

    Real love is unconditional. I don't think it is asking too much to expect unconditional love from God, of all beings. If it is too much to ask, it would be an understatement to say I am not impressed.
    I agree, and that's why I base the utility of theism (and all things associated with it) on the basis of how it impacts life on earth. However, I think people who are able to believe in "God" usually derive more utility out of life than those who do not. I think most people have certain metaphysical wants that need to be satified in order to fully enjoy the present, so theists (generally speaking) gain much more than they lose through their beliefs.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    How do you deal, then, when one of your children is being horribly taken advantage of by another one who has no desire or inclination to change? What's your mechanism for justice and protecting the weaker from abuse?
    I don't think taking the measures necessary to fix this problem require any trade-off when it comes to love.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I agree, and that's why I base the utility of theism (and all things associated with it) on the basis of how it impacts life on earth. However, I think people who are able to believe in "God" usually derive more utility out of life than those who do not. I think most people have certain metaphysical wants that need to be satified in order to fully enjoy the present, so theists (generally speaking) gain much more than they lose through their beliefs.
    I think this has to do with one's opinion on what constitutes a good life. When considering the ability to live a "normal" life, there is no question that theists tend to have the utilitarian advantage on the whole. However, when I study the lives of those I personally consider to be truly great, the proportional amount of theists dwindles significantly.

  6. #16
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I agree, and that's why I base the utility of theism (and all things associated with it) on the basis of how it impacts life on earth. However, I think people who are able to believe in "God" usually derive more utility out of life than those who do not. I think most people have certain metaphysical wants that need to be satified in order to fully enjoy the present, so theists (generally speaking) gain much more than they lose through their beliefs.
    Could you explain better what you mean by the bolded part?

    And notjeffgoldblum, I don't think any Christian would say that their conception of God is one of conditional love. It's just that God's love doesn't stop him from punishing those who don't believe in him (or her, whichever). Actually, framing it as an act of punishment may be wrong, since the free-will-ers will undoubtedly say that God doesn't punish anyone, but the individual chooses his/her fate by choosing to believe or not. I don't buy it (for several reasons that I won't get into now), but I think that it preserves the idea of a benevolent God while also including eternal damnation.

    The point: God still loves you even if he knows you're going to burn. Sort of like (to draw from your parenting analogy) when a parent knows that their child is going down a path of destruction by their choices in life, but continues to love them anyway. Their love, however, doesn't stop the consequences of the child's choices from happening.
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  7. #17
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notjeffgoldblum View Post
    I don't think taking the measures necessary to fix this problem require any trade-off when it comes to love.
    I do think it's easy to have abstracted ideals... that do not conform in the least bit to practical reality.

    What specific measures would you take to fix this problem that would not result in a trade-off and would be effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    The point: God still loves you even if he knows you're going to burn.
    lol. Okay, that caught me off-guard.

    Sort of like (to draw from your parenting analogy) when a parent knows that their child is going down a path of destruction by their choices in life, but continues to love them anyway. Their love, however, doesn't stop the consequences of the child's choices from happening.
    I agree. The mom of a murderer on death row can still love her child and still think that he needs to be punished for what he's done. That's what's not being considered here.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #18
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Could you explain better what you mean by the bolded part?
    Check the "why is it good that God exist" and "death-what's the problem?" threads.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    And notjeffgoldblum, I don't think any Christian would say that their conception of God is one of conditional love. It's just that God's love doesn't stop him from punishing those who don't believe in him (or her, whichever). Actually, framing it as an act of punishment may be wrong, since the free-will-ers will undoubtedly say that God doesn't punish anyone, but the individual chooses his/her fate by choosing to believe or not. I don't buy it (for several reasons that I won't get into now), but I think that it preserves the idea of a benevolent God while also including eternal damnation.

    The point: God still loves you even if he knows you're going to burn. Sort of like (to draw from your parenting analogy) when a parent knows that their child is going down a path of destruction by their choices in life, but continues to love them anyway. Their love, however, doesn't stop the consequences of the child's choices from happening.
    I like to compare the concept of people condemning themselves to hell to idea of criminals sending themselves to jail. It just doesn't happen. Criminals commit crimes and they may well know that they are acting in contradiction with the wishes of the vast majority of society, but the fact remains that it takes something besides their crime to actually put them in jail. God sends people to hell, not people. (then again I don't consider the concept of heaven to be all that appealing but that's a whole 'nother thread)

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I do think it's easy to have abstracted ideals... that do not conform in the least bit to practical reality.
    I don't think we are on the same page when we think of the abstracted ideal that is love. If we were, I would need no explanation. I still haven't been able to explain it. It's a feeling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I agree. The mom of a murderer on death row can still love her child and still think that he needs to be punished for what he's done. That's what's not being considered here.
    I think it is usually fruitless to compare god to "real life" analogies though. My conception of God lives outside of social constructs. (I know... I started it :P)

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