Perfectly evil God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,338
    Hypothetically, I suppose this could be acceptable.

    It matters to theists.

    Is that what you think?
    What would 'evil God' think?

    Would 'evil God' make us live eternally so that we would have to endure your idea of what 'evil God' regards as suffering?

    And we often hear from atheists that God is evil, and can't design for toffee.

    That's like asking 'did the inventor of internet make it evil, or good'?

    I don't think you comprehend the concept of God.
    How can God, be immoral, or wicked?

    What rules of conduct are there, outside of God, for God to follow?

    We as humans are said to be immoral, and wicked, because there is a standard theists regard as God.

    Evil is performed by those of us who do not conform, or choose to not conform to this standard, not that it is a concept all by itself (a bit like atheist I suppose).

    God is God, the ultimate standard. 'Evil' is something that is perceived by lesser beings.

    Just because we are hypothesising, doesn't mean we can just change the nature of God.
    'If cars were able to build computers, would they build them with 4 wheels'?

    The question is 'why don't people enjoy suffering. If God is the standard, and we are part and parcel of God, we would accept whatever the standard of God is. Just like we do now.

    There is nothing but God. Think about that.
    And yet atheists assert that God does not exist.

    Hence, an 'evil God' would make his creatures happy, which they would regard as repugnant because they would be like fish out of water.

    I think you're assuming that humans are purely natural creatures, somehow created by a natural world, and somehow concoct a being called God. And that is the only tie.
    The problem here, is that you actually believe that is true.

    jan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Having choice is always better than not having choice. Even if we decide to squander it.
     
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Good and evil is man made. Good and evil exists as defined by culture. When a lion kills to eat, it does not look at a book of law to make sure this is acceptable social behavior. A vegetarian may call this evil by human definition.The lion acts internally, driven by its instincts for survival. This is natural and morally neutral. At one time pre-humans were natural; paradise was morally neutral. When the prehuman acted it was based on instinctive impulse; being true to natural impulse.

    The bible calls the change into good and evil, eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge is something we learn from the outside. The ten commandments are not written in our human instincts; DNA, before birth. You learn these as a child, through external input. Knowledge that is innate at birth is called instinct or second nature. Law and knowledge of good and evil is not innate, but is learned.

    The prehuman lived based on natural human instinct, which are morally neutral. Once external law appears; knowledge of good and evil, a conscious addendum was added to internal instinct, based on choice and willpower. Written language, carved in stone, times out with the geology of the bible; 6000 years ago. Written law made the change permanent; original sin. Spoken law was more subject to instinctive interpretation; less repression.

    For example, say we raised a lion cub in confinement. Instead of allowing its natural lion instincts to develop, we attempt to train the lion to be more domestic, so he is more suited to our needs. Although this may be useful to us, it will be unnatural to the inner nature of the lion. Since this is not natural for the lion; not based on internal drives, it will cause repression of his natural instincts. As the energy potential builds, behavioral problems will start to appear that are not fully natural or fully domestic. He may get aggressive all the time, or depressed.

    Such was the tree of knowledge; external rules of good and evil. Law restrained the natural pre-humans, in unnatural ways. It was needed for domestication and civilization. However, the result was a hybrid of natural and unnatural; good and evil appears; variety of expressions. As new behavior appears, more and more laws become needed, which compounds evil due to more repression.

    As an example, eating is one of our natural instincts that is still allowed. Say I made a law that said you can only eat 500 calories per day. This is not enough to fully satisfy the instinctive biochemical needs of your body. You instincts will need more, but the law says it will get less. The result is you will get hungry and not be able to shut this off. Your constant hunger may even start to justify almost anything to eat. You may steal food or even hurt someone who dares go near you small rations. Evil appears from the repression.

    God is about the inner voice of instinct, which is neutral. Humans divide the world into good and evil via law, with law causing repression of nature. St. Paul, in Romans, speaks of the outer man dying and the inner man growing. Law of the outer man was made void by the sacrifice of Jesus. The goal of the new teaching was he return back to natural instinct of the inner man. It was no longer yes and no; law, but yes in him; instinct.

    The affect of law is not metaphysical or philosophical. It is connected to how the brain deals with law in terms of data storage. The data storage, induced by law, alters how the energy of the brain behaves relative to natural. If you could erase all law memory, evil would disappear. But with law in place, the data storage will induce repressions and semi-natural reactive impulse.
     
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  7. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Or moral, or good?
    The thought experiment assumes that God is not as theists currently view God but has a different agenda, nature, essence.
    And that rather than be benevolent or good or anything similarly positive that theists might ascribe to the God they believe in, it is the negative versions of those.

    If you do not wish to abide by the assumptions of the experiment then I'm sure you know where the exit door is.
    And how do they know that God is this standard?
    You have asked how God can be immoral, or wicked, but similarly how can God be good, or moral?
    And who is to say that this ultimate standard is not evil?
    I presume theists consider this standard to be "good", "benevolent", "moral" etc?
    On what basis?
    Er, yes it does.
    It is the very nature of a thought experiment, to conjure up something different to the normal thoughts / assumptions / principles and to work through the consequences.
    In this one, by JamesR, the scenario involves God being evil in essence, as opposed to the commonly held belief of being good.
    Why would they accept it?
    People do now presumably because their view of God is aligned with how they wish to live their lives.
    That, unfortunately, is no guarantee that God is actually aligned in the way people believe.
    Why is God believed to be "good" and "moral"?
    On what basis?
    If all God is is "everything" (and within that I include all that is physical and non-physical that ever was and ever will be) then no one disputes that such exists.
    Not even atheists.
    It is simply not something that they ever consider labelling "God", and thus to them "God" has no real meaning.

    Furthermore, asserting that there is nothing but God is one thing, but then ascribing properties to that God like "good" or "evil" is something else entirely.
    Atheists have a phrase for a God that is simply all that there is, and that is "all that there is".
    No label of God is needed.
    Now, what properties are you going to add to this label of God you are giving to "all that there is", and on what basis?
     
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,338
    My question was aimed at James.
    If you want to respond to it be my guest.

    The thought experiment is currently non sensical.
    Don't worry, I will use the exit door if it doesn't improve.

    Don't you mean 'how do they regard God as the standard'?
    It doesn't matter how, they just do.


    Get in line. I posed my question to James R first.

    I don't know.
    Do you know?

    You can presume what you like.

    Then he should answer my questions.

    This is where theism and atheism kicks in. We are part and parcel of God.
    Don't bother asking for evidence for existence and all that crap. I hope you're capable of assuming God does exist.

    I can't even begin to comprehend what that means.
    What is your view of God?

    If anyone on here, including myself has described God as good, and moral, take it up with that particular post. Otherwise just stick to what is written.

    This is the basis of theist and atheist. The foundational principle has to be acceptance of God.

    What are you telling me for?
    Go tell James R.

    I'm happy for all atheists. Congratulations.

    I'm not going to add anything.

    jan.
     
  9. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    Well, no.

    As people have pointed out to Jan before, he is an extremely dishonest person. He is attempting to define the word "God" to mean "everything that exists" in order to get people to admit that God exists, but then he changes the properties of God in different contexts.
     
  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    And my question was aimed at you.
    Please answer it.
    How do you think God can be deemed moral or good?
    If you don't, just say so.
    Why do you think it is nonsensical?
    Do you not attribute the property of "good" to God, of "benevolent"?
    This thought experiment simply turns that around.
    Are you unable to imagine anything that is labelled God without it being the God you believe in, with all the properties you ascribe it?
    No, my question is how they know that God lives up to the standard they ascribe to it?
    I am asking you.
    If you don't think that God can be ascribed the property of "good" or "moral" then please say so.
    I simply want to know if you consider God to have any such properties (good or bad, positive or negative) or are dismissing the ability of God to be any of those things, and/or the ability of us to know what they are.
    So please can you answer?
    No.
    But yet you say you don't know, but find the concept of an evil-God to be nonsensical?
    Do you find the concept of a good-God to be nonsensical?
    Classic evasion.
    Do you consider God to be moral, good, benevolent?
    If so, on what basis?
    Im sure he'll get round to it, but his answering your questions has no bearing on whether a thought experiment can alter, for the purposes of the experiment, the nature of an otherwise understood concept and/or real thing.
    i am capable of that thought-experiment, yes.
    No, I guess you can't.
    I'm happy to work with whatever view others put forth.
    I raised it, and I am asking a question of you.
    You have questioned how God can be considered immoral or wicked, and I am seeing if you extend this questioning to any such subjective attribute or simply to those on the negative end of the spectrum.
    It is a legitimate question to ask.
    Do you wish me to ask it again, or will you answer?
    No, there is a foundational principle that all that there is is indeed all that there is.
    The label of God is baggaged with other properties, traits, etc that simply are not there in the foundational principle.
    To label it God is disingenuous misleading to those that simply refer to it as "all that there is".
    So no, you are wrong in that there does not have to be acceptance of "God".
    I'm telling you on the off-chance you are one of the theists who goes from claiming God is "all that there is" to ascribing it properties.
    So you don't think God is benevolent?
    good?
    Moral?
    Or do you think God is simply benign, neutral, neither for nor against anything?
     
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,545
    You dont realize this is all your interpretation just as well. You are brainwashed. You explain what everyone knows or a process and that doesnt mean its not evil because you are so used to or desensitized to it. Morals are not derived from a book of law but from instincts of survival and then further developed. You have it backwards. Your idiotic, detached view is disingenous as if even lower animals dont care or dont feel or suffer or all they can do is run away, hide, fight back or die. If you were chased by a bear trying to eat you, you would be screaming like a little girl running away in fright for your life. Then tell me how ya like it, not from the comfort of your desk/computer and phone where 911 is just a push button away. Lol

    The very fact of predation is evil in itself. If that werent the case, living beings wouldnt be fighting it. No one wants to be victimized. Thats the unfortunate aspect of life here is life at another life's expense.
    We have the brainpower to see that it is a terrible conundrum but we are stuck with it.

    If you were going to design something sadistic, that would be it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  12. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,338
    I don't think in those terms.

    Because I don't understand what he means by ''God''. Evil or not.

    You have seen what I attribute to God.
    I regard 'evil' as actions devoid of good. Or without goodness. I don't see it as a stand alone. Much like your position 'atheism', in relation to theism.
    If God was lacking qualities, He couldn't be God.

    Ask questions that relate to what I've written.

    Here is my position so in future you can ask relative questions.
    I don't find the concpt of God nonsensical, unless attempts are mad by some atheists, like yourself or James.

    Nothing to evade.

    I consider God to be God.
    We've had enough discussion on what I think God.
    Go check them out and re quaint yourself.

    Good.
    Good.


    LOL!
    And my answer is that it is irrelevant.
    So I'm not going to answer you. Ok?

    That's your way of looking at it.
    And I'm okay with that.

    Thanks for tip.

    I think God is God.

    jan.
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,338
    No that is your prefered interpretation of what I write.
    It is that is dishonest.

    jan.
     
  14. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Thanks for your non-responses, Jan.
    It's clear you have/had no intention to honestly engage in the gedankenexperiment but were instead here to sidetrack the discussion to areas where you could just trash it.
    Don't let the door hit you as you leave.
     
  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,338
    A thought experiment must have substance, otherwise a satisfactory outcome can not be possible.

    To ask ''what if God were the sum total of all the birds in the world'', without understanding what God, and God's purpose is supposed to be, the question has no substance. James, and yourself, may believe that there is no substance in the concept of God, and proceed from that standpoint. But if you're going to present a thought experiment about God, and aim it at theists, have something of substance regarding God, that theists can recognise.

    If I am to go with your line of questioning, it will eventually lead to the topic of existence, because you have nothing else to go on. You can't comprehend theism, and can only respond to it by trying to prove it, or find evidence for it. Your whole line of questioning always leads to that, and it becomes tedious, especially when it isn't necessary.

    You insist on asking how people know that God is the standard. Why?
    Isn't it enough that people believe in God.

    Why should I have to justify my belief to you?

    jan.
     
  16. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    2,422
    But let's be clear, saying that God is the totality of everything is something that no theist would recognize. That's why people say you're dishonest.
     
  17. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    10,338
    Why wouldn't theist recognise that?

    jan.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    7,536
    Partly because it would explain nothing.
    The question has been asked before: what distinguishes God from all that exists?

    Draw a Venn diagram of God and Everything. Identify the elements that are not both.

    If you indicate that there are no elements that are not in both sets, then the definition of God is meaningless.

    It certainly means that so such words as good, evil, benelovent, wrathful, manipulative, loving or even sentient can apply.

    Try it. The Venn diagram demonstrates that God and 'all that there is' are synonymous in every way.

    So I ask for the Venn diagram, with labels.
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,826
    Jan Ardena:

    Yes. What do you think?

    I think he'd agree with me!

    Clearly we don't currently live eternally, so if God is good then, for whatever reason, he has decided that he prefers us being mortal. Some theists would say that God has an eternity in store for us after death - you know, heaven and what not.

    So, I assume that if God is evil, he'll operate the same way. We don't need to be immortal to suffer. God can make us all suffer for an eternity in Hell after we die.

    No. What you hear from atheists is that God (probably) doesn't exist.

    But this is not the topic of this thread. Here, we are examining whether the world would look any different from the way it looks right now if there was an evil God, as opposed to a good one.

    So you agree that a world created and run by a good God would look no different to one created an run by an evil one? Are you saying that the world we live in is consistent with one created and presided over by an evil God?

    You don't need to tell me that. It's a constant theme of yours.

    Lots of ways. He can cause people to come to harm and/or die unnecessarily. He can allow great injustices in the world. He can cause natural disasters that benefit nobody.

    None. God, being omnipotent, can do as he pleases.

    Or perhaps we're said to be moral, and good, because there is a standard of absolute evil that can be regarded as God.

    So you think that being good amounts to simply following God's rules and preferences, then?

    If God is evil, then those of us who conform to God's wishes will do evil, and all good is done by those who are "fighting the system".

    Is there some way you tell whether that it is the good people who are conforming to God's standards, and not the evil people?

    Yes. And "Good", too, as I'm sure you'll agree.

    Right. And that applies when we hypothesise that God is good, too.

    Why don't people hate happiness? If we are part and parcel of evil God, we would accept whatever the standard of God is. Or would we? What happened to that free will thing?

    Fine. So is God good or evil? Is there any way to know?

    No. Atheists lack a belief in God. But that is a tired debate that can be had elsewhere. This thread assumes that God exists.

    I see what you're trying to do there, but we need to keep a sense of perspective intact. We are talking about the real, current world here. In this real world in which we live, it is a fact that people do not enjoy suffering or pain. They do not, in fact, regard happiness as repugnant.

    My question is: is this current world we live in more consistent with God being good, or with God being evil? Is there some way we can discern God's nature from looking at this world in which we live? Or not?

    Firstly, this thread is not about what I believe. I said that in the first post. Secondly, here I'm explicitly assuming that God created the world and the people in it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,826
    (continued)

    How it is nonsensical? Please explain. I think you'd just rather not think about it, so you're looking for an easy way to avoid facing the problem.

    If you can actually explain why the notion is nonsensical, then we can work together to try to construct a more solid philosophical argument.

    We wouldn't have to guess at what you think if you'd only be kind enough to tell us.

    What does it mean to be "part and parcel" of God? Is that different from being free beings who have an independent will? Are you saying we're all puppets of God? Or that we all are the same as God (your vague pantheism again)?

    If you are saying that God is everything that exists, and thus is both good and evil, then essentially you have responded to the thread in the negative. That is, you're saying there's no way to know whether God is good or evil, because you think he's both.

    Would that be a fair summary of your position, then?

    If you're not interested in discussing the thread topic, you don't have to, Jan. Nobody has you tied to your chair, forcing you to answer questions.

    It's fine if you don't know whether God is good or evil. Really. Indeed, my suggestion here is that there may be no way to know either way. So, don't feel like you're failing because you can't provide the answer.

    You don't distinguish between good and evil? Or - perhaps - you don't distinguish between God doing good and God doing evil?

    Sorry, but I'm not going off on that tangent again here. You can assume that "God" in this thread means the Ultimate Creator of the Universe, First Cause, blah blah blah, whatever it is you want him to be. My question is a simple one: can we know whether this God is good or evil? If your answer is that God is all things, then your answer is that God is both good and evil, and you're probably done for this thread. It is interesting, though, that so many religious people claim that God is good, don't you think?

    Similarly, you would regard "good" as actions devoid of evil. Or without evilness. I can't see that how helps us decide whether God is good or evil.

    So the idea of a God who is good is nonsensical to you?

    You may be getting the wrong end of the stick. Let us assume that your God, right now, right here in this world, exists in exactly the way you believe he does.

    My question is simple: can we know whether your God, right here and now, is good or evil? Is there some way we can tell the difference?

    We don't need to accept your particular conception of God to hear your answer to that, though if you want to draw on your conception of God to answer that's quite acceptable, of course.

    You complain that we don't understand God's purpose etc. Wouldn't a good start to gaining that understanding be working out whether has a good purpose or an evil one? If you believe that question is unanswerable, that's fine, as I said.

    My beliefs on that are irrelevant to the topic of the thread.

    What would you require before you can address the question of whether God is good or evil?

    Have you never thought about that question yourself?

    If you prefer not to face the question that has been raised, you are free to bow out of the discussion. You chose to insert yourself into it. Was there some reason for that, or did you just post to whine about atheists?

    Do you not consider it important to know God's nature? Aren't you at all curious?

    Wouldn't it be a waste to pray to an evil God?
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    30,826
    wellwisher:

    To summarise your post, in the context of the thread:
    You are saying that God is a human construct, and therefore whether God is good or evil depends on the human constructing him. Is that right?
     
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,703
    Idiots.

    I'm going to argue for the existence of your evil God.

    Define God is the most evil being that can possibly be conceived. We can imagine an evil God that only exists in man's understanding. But obviously an evil God that exists in both our understanding and in reality would be worse than an evil God that only exists in our understanding. So the most evil being that can be conceived must exist in both our understanding and reality.

    I bet you recognize where you've seen a slightly different version of that argument before. But as long as we are using theological arguments in reverse... (the 'problem of good' was a good one.

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
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  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    52,070
    That's not any kind of logical reasoning. Obviously a God can't be even a little bad if it doesn't exist. The worst evil God is one that both exists and is responsible for evil, but that doesn't mean it does exist.
     

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