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God is an Asshole

This post is by Chris not Norm.

Whenever a tragedy on the scale of the recent tsunami occurs, it is natural to ask the question that on old woman from the India asked. "Why did you do this to us God?" Reuters has a news story named after this question. Here are some of the answers our world's "wise" religious leaders give us.

"This is an expression of God's great ire with the world," Israeli chief rabbi Shlomo Amar told Reuters. "The world is being punished for wrongdoing -- be it people's needless hatred of each other, lack of charity, moral turpitude."

Some people hate each other, so lets just indiscriminately kill 100,000+ people. That'll teach 'em. What kind of asshole would act like that? Apparently God.

Azizan Abdul Razak, a Muslim cleric and vice president of Malaysia's Islamic opposition party, Parti Islam se-Malaysia, said the disaster was a reminder from god that "he created the world and can destroy the world."

Sounds like God has an inferiority complex. He has to massacre a bunch of people to show how tough he is. What an asshole.

A more modern view has it that scientists present the best explanation for the cause of the tsunami and that God doesn't interfere. Well in this case we have a God who just sits back and watches thousands of people die without doing anything. What an asshole.

If we could name a human being who was responsible for this or who could have easily prevented it and did not, he would be hated and reviled throughout history. Characters such as Hitler and Stalin who were responsible for thousands of deaths like this are rightly reviled. Why does God get a moral get out of jail free card.

God is an asshole!


 

Comments

"Wars and battles seem terrible to us, but to God not even they are terrible. For all things complete the harmony of the universe. So Heraclitus says to that God all things are fair and just but men have supposed some things to be unjust and others just." ~Scholia

Should we revise that to say "Wars and battles and natural diasters"?

The God of institutionalized religion is an asshole to you. But we've already decided that institutionalized religion is not rational, right? And it only follows that their view of God is irrational too; which, unfortunately, seems to be informing your view of God.

Try reading Leibniz's Abridgement to the "Theodicy". http://www.class.uidaho.edu/mickelsen/texts/Leibniz%20-%20Theodicy.htm

A taste:

"For example, a general of an army will prefer a great victory with a slight wound to a condition without wound and without victory. We have proved this more fully in the large work by making it clear, by instances taken from mathematics and elsewhere, that an imperfection in the part may be required for a greater perfection in the whole. In this I have followed the opinion of St. Augustine, who has said a hundred times, that God has permitted evil in order to bring about good, that is, a greater good; and that of Thomas Aquinas, that the permitting of evil tends to the good of the universe."

I can't remember who said it, but my favorite quote along these lines came after WWI. It goes "If there is a God, I'd like to spit in his empty face."

If god stepped in every time there was a disaster, if every huge loss of life was stopped before it happened, would the human race learn anything? Would people be inspired to make the world better, to go out and help those in need? Change does not occur unless there is adversity to rile it to a waking state. I personally believe in a Yin/Yang sort of balance to everything, and I believe that such a massive disaster, this incredible loss of life is in response for the drastic waste of life elsewhere in the world.

It may be a generalization, but the ability to make such a generalization says much for the overall atmosphere of a situation, but Americans tend to be terrifically unappreciative of life, many things are taken for granted. I can only speak for America because I live here. Across the world, people with very little are losing all they have: in many cases, this is their life and family.

All these disasters happening from beyond our control are wakeup calls that we've brought upon ourselves. The more disregard we as a race show, the more the powers that be compensate, trying to show us the error of our ways. Yeah there's outrage and people send money, but... in less than a month's time, it'll be forgotten in this part of the world.

As far as I see it, we brought it on ourselves.

this disaster is a natural phenomenon that has nothing to do with "mystical" Higher powers. these events have happened througout the history of the world and will continue. To suggest it is something brought upon Asia by a higher power due to "our" disregard is ignorant and useless drival. What mistakes were made is not using the available knowledge to warn of impending peril. Keep living in a fantasy world if it makes you feel better. It is truly a waste of time...and frankly rediculous. What the hell are you talking about "wakeup calls brought upon ourselves"? How could you even suggest that those victims are some how responsible for the "disregard we as a race show, the more powers that be compensate, trying to show us the error of our ways". Is that even a sentence? Do you even know what you write? My, oh , my...as they say..not the sharpest tool in the shed. Ok..this is the answer.. blame something or someone to explain the unexplainable. How rediculous... Speaking of the human race...I am ashamed that you ...could be so disrespectful of those suffering..

Go to that other place that is so much better..and let us look at life in reality..not a vision of your insane mind...

ARGH!!

i don't know about all of you, but i am completely fed up with people bringing up "God" whenever some terrible natural disaster happens. can't we all just recognize it as exactly that, a "natural" disaster, not some divine "sign" that happened for a "reason". both sides seem to fall into this trap, libs and conservatives ("oh, God is a sadistic jerk, God is angry", or some other nonsensical crap). GOD HASN'T BEEN PROVEN TO EXIST, this is just a normal part of the universe, like "beautiful" heavenly stars blowing up in outerspace and obliterating everything around them.

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Is there some hidden meaning in calling God a kind of "hole"? After all, you affirm that there is no such malevolent being.

Sometimes I wonder why atheists sometimes suspend disbelief in order to vilify "God". But at times like these I don't blame people for going from doubting his benevolence to doubting his existence. "God", like "father", and "friend" becomes meaningless or at least empty when attached to the notion of wickedness.

Perhaps God is not quite as much with us as we thought. Perhaps he is coming but not fully here, so he cannot stop every kind of evil, even those which are not a product of free will. This seems to be the position of process theology.

At any rate, my speculation is of little use, and might be positively evil in the face of such an immediate crisis. There is a lot of need out there and many opporunities to give, especially when our government is doing almost nothing to help those who are at this moment starving or dying because of disease or injury as a result of the tsunami. If the U.S. put up a half-billion dollars, which would be much more than the rest of the world combined, it would go a long way to showing that we care about helping foreign nations as well as bombing them. Another opportunity lost...

Dende you say "Perhaps God is not quite as much with us as we thought." So is he or she really the creator of the universe or all powerful as the bible says? I don't know I don't begrudge any person's beliefs. As an atheist myself I don't understand them, but when it comes to God or as I say god, I think there is a double standard. I am always told of the story of how somebody overcame incredible odds prayed and how they survived a terrible disaster and when asked they invariable say, God saved me and my family. How many cancer patients or survivors of any natural disasters or illnesses that don't make it thank god? I would think lots. I've heard of stories of people literally praying in church while a tornado comes and swipes away the church killing them all while they are in the process of prayer. If you don't believe me I am sure I could prove it. I remember reading such a news article a decade or so ago. WHERE WAS GOD THEN? Now having said that, maybe God just works in mysterious ways :-). Just my personal opinion I could be wrong. But in the end it doesn't matter what or beliefs our, as long as we a race try and make a difference to those people. In the end God or no God that is what is important.

A really big rock got bumped under the ocean and made a wave. The forces involved were mechanical, not mystical.

But I doubt even a thorough knowledge of plate techtonics could do much to ease the grief of a parent burying her drowned children.

Bro the world got fucked. God's got nothing to do with it.

End.

Whenever there is an event with winners and losers, the winners thank G-d for bestowing His favor. What does that say to the losers? Did they piss Him off? Were those miraculous survivors somehow G-d's chosen, while the dead ones deserved it?

If there is a "greater plan" then it is not one that has people as its primary beneficiaries. If there is no greater plan, then either the Deists are right or the atheists.

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Tim: No doubt, just about every Christian I have ever met acknowledges that good, believing, praying people can get killed just like "sinners" do. I don't dispute that either. It is also unavoidable to conclude that God works in mysterious ways or he doesn't work at all--he surely does not work in the most obvious and transparent ways, both atheists and theists agree on that. But according to the view that God is limited in some way, I admit you would have to revise all the previous ideas about God being all-powerful and so on.

Hegel (in)famously said: "Without the world God would not be God." Perhaps this could mean that God is in himself complete and sufficient, but in relation to the world he is progressing and completing his knowledge and power in history. According to this view the development of the human race (learning how to do good in a world in which good-doing and rewards for such are not guaranteed) would in some way go hand-in-hand with the development of God.

It's awkward to talk much about these high-flown theological issues immediately after such a terrible disaster, since it seems to be an escape from the brutal reality that is still going on. Right now I'm willing to pick up any doctrine, religion or lack of one that will serve the immediate need at hand.

Yesterday I saw a photo from India in USA Today. The photo shows a bulletin board with the pictures of children who had died in the tsunami and had to be buried before they could be identified by their families. It was one of the most terrible things I've ever seen. I hope everyone who sees these things in the media or hears about them will give whatever they can to the Red Cross or other relief agencies. Anyone who has an amazon.com account can donate with their credit card in about 60 seconds.

I don't really feel the need for answers about God or not, but if there is a God, why couldn't he/she/it/they/whatever be an entity with the power to set creation in motion but not omnipotent and omniscient? Perhaps such an entity has a greater capacity for awareness (can you imagine what hell that must be?) and can at times try to 'turn' a heart to affect change, but not have the powers that most religions attribute to God.

I am under the impression that the tsunami would not have been as devastating if the natural environment has not been leveled to make room for the resorts. There was a report that where the mangroves were, they protected the people. That may have been in a previous tsunami, not this one, but I think that was the point. I'm sure such a tremendous tsunami as this one would have caused much damage irregardless, but perhaps it would have been less if the environment had been intact.

Personally, I don't see any rhyme or reason or logic to any type of suffering. I live and work in the world of ill children. I see parents that step up to the job, and those that desert their children. No pattern to predict which parents will skip out, either, nope. Are the ill children always the best, the smartest, and cutest, the nicest? Again, no pattern. Is God not there, or is Strength one of the only things that could be offered to us?

My version of God is not all powerful and is hoping we can balance ourselves. Perhaps there was a glitch in creation that we are all working on to restore this balance (not that there would be no suffering at all then). It's an old theory - I can't remember where I first read it -perhaps in a Karen Armstrong or Joseph Campbell book.

One of the only reasons I entertain a God's existence at all is that so many of us yearn for it so. Can it really be all out of fear and not out of wonder? However, I don't believe the point of any God is salvation. So many rules around the idea of God seem contrived so man can control man, not so man can enjoy and appreciate life.

One of the reasons why Darwin became on atheist towards the end of his life, was because he could not reconcile the fact that so much pain exists with a God who could "will" it. How could a "benevolent" God do such a thing?

Besides thinking in all too limited human terms about this natural diaster, and pain and suffering in general, perhaps reading this article will give you a different "appreciation" of pain.

This is an article about a baby with the disease CIPA--it is a very rare disease where the babies cannot feel pain. http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/14726_pain.html

Here is a snipet: "The fear of the girl's parents is easy to understand: those, who do not feel any pain at all, usually die before they turn 25 years old. As a rule, painless individuals die of appendicitis: they do not feel pain in the right side, and notice the problem too late, when the deadly inflammation starts. Such people die of frostbites, heat strokes, blood poisoning, which can be caused with a slight wound; they do not feel any pain even when they have a heart attack. [snip] Ashlyn Blocker will have to live a very difficult and hazardous life. It may sound like a paradox, but the feeling of pain has become an unfeasible dream for the girl and her parents."

Now what if the world was incapable of suffering? The counter argument may be, "why should there have to be any suffering at all?" For my own self, I know I would not have reached a "higher state of being" if I didn't suffer greatly for it.

Since "God" is a psychological construct, people use "Him" to explain away their pain. Humans in general do not like to feel pain, and try to avoid pain, and think pain is all bad. So they say things like the pain will make us stronger - God is trying to make us stronger. So really one cannot say that "God" is an asshole since "God" is a human construct - (even if there really is a supreme being out there our understanding of it will always be a human construct). What must be said and taught are better ways to deal with pain. Sartre introduces onegoodmove today. He and Camus had an alternative way to deal with pain. Pain just is. It's not good or bad. Deal. (existentialism in short). To say "deal" sounds caulous, yet Camus definately was not callous - he found great inspiration in this philosophy and great caring. To "deal" for him meant to strive against everything and nothingness for that is the human condition. Yes this was "just" a natural disaster.....you will find the majority of those people in Asia that are helping are just helping because that is what needs to be done....not because "God" told them to. Also this should remind us how fragile our hold on life is....sounds cliche but I think scientists are at this moment furiously analyzing this disaster and magnifying it to modify what they think would happen if an asteroid hit the planet. With this little 9.0 earthquake the tsunami was able to pick up the ocean floor and throw it up hundreds of feet onto dry land. Simply incredible. Now look at some of the craters they have found that are theorized to have happened at the time of various extinctions of life and just imagine the resulting tsunamis.

If there is a god what makes you think that god sees death as a bad thing. Death is simply change. Matter is not created or destroyed but it can change greatly. My grandmother passed away recently. Before she left I had a dream - the two of us were swimming in the place where she was going after she died and it was beyond words. If she and others who die go there - if this dream was the truth - then there is no need to fear death. Death is but a passage to a new existance. Her passing still caused me great pain. I loved her and my heart was tied to her, but I know she is ok. Instinct tells me I must live out my life here - but having a glimpse of what lies waiting - I am somewhat more at peace with this change.

I have always teetered on the agnostic front. My best proof of higher awareness is that man never would have gotten this far without divine intervention :)

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With God's,(or what ever you want to call Her)help, I can exercise the greatest force for change in my life. I can change my mind.

I apologize if my post seemed a bit shrill. I had just seen pictures of the disaster when I started reading the reuters article. These idiots talking about how this was punishment just made me sick. Also, I have never heard a satisfactory answer to this question from theology. It strikes me as a disconfirming instance of God's existence because this state of affairs clearly contradicts the all-benevolent deity that is described by many religious traditions.

I think dende's idea of suggesting limits to God's power is an interesting one. It seems one is always going to run into contradictions when one supposes any entity has infinite attributes. But if God's powers are limited we will want to know how limited. Perhaps he isn't worthy of our worship.

Another hypothesis might be that God is just an evil bastard. Why doesn't anyone give this idea credence? If you believe all of this God talk is worth while in the first place why not consider this? Events like the Tsunami would seem to indicate he is an evil bastard. That God must necessarily good seems like a case of just believing what one hopes is true. I hope Bush gets impeached, that doens't mean it will happen.

Interesting point Dende. My only experience with theology is C.S. Lewis and Hans Kung and few others I can't recall. I've always found it interesting. Though God hasn't been proven to exist scientifically. Given that idea theology would in my opinion be an exercise in rationalizations; in other words making God fit the facts instead of having the facts fit God.

I like what Carl Sagon said in his book Contact, or maybe it was the movie. The main protagonist mentions Ocam's Razor which says "when faced with two hypothesis that explain the data equally well to chose the simpler." I've always found science to be more straight forward and less convoluted than theology, when it comes to explaining the universe. That's not to say that science has all the answers. It never will, neither do I think philosophy (though philosophy doesn't start out with any preconceived notions), theology, or any other form of epistemology or ways of knowing will. I am getting off topic now. I am sorry for the long post, a passionate issue for all of us I think. I hope nobody takes it too personally. Belief systems are always hot button topics.

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Chris: Yes, starting from theism, the possbility is open that God is evil. Those who believe in God usually don't follow this path, but besides wishful thinking perhaps it is because it is morally and epistemologically self-defeating. Saying God is evil, especially if God is all-powerful, seems similar to saying, "I am systematically deceived by my cognitive faculties." It may indeed be true, but I have no way of knowing it if it is true, just like I have no way of knowing that God is evil, since if he were he could easily manipulate my beliefs and perceptions so that I don't know which way is up. Similarly, it is in a sense self-defeating to say that I may be doing evil by following God, since God could easily force or deceive me if he did want me to do evil. Of course people can think they are serving God and yet still do evil. This may be hard or impossible to determine, but it is not as self-defeating as claiming that you are indeed serving God and yet still doing evil.

Our world has evil in it, even radical evil. But on the other hand it is not a nightmare world in which moral action and some degree of human fulfillment is impossible. Hume discusses this point in his Treatise on Human Nature, in the part on ethics. One could easily imagine a world of radical scarcity or systematic misunderstandings where it would be impossible to do anything good without quickly being destroyed. In fact most people live in conditions in which it is possible to do good or evil, to believe in God or not, to pray to God or curse him without being immediately struck down, etc. Non-believers frequently prosper and believers are made fools of. God, if he exists, allows this to happen, but this kind of forbearance is not typical of tyrants. Though we might imagine that such a world, in a vast universe, could come about through chance it seems odd to argue that it could come from a God who only wants to torture us. So I think that the idea of an evil god has problems just as the idea of a good god does.

Tim: It is true that the "God explanation" which posits God as a proximate cause of things which happen to us is not scientifically helpful and probably not provable. But the basic core of the cosmological proof is that if everything has a cause (the Principle of Sufficient Reason) then (if the universe is a thing) the universe itself must be caused by something. Obviously some people dispute this proof, but if you are a rationalist and you do reject it then you are left believing that everything in the universe has a cause, except for the universe itself, which "just is". This philosophical proof seems fairly plausible to me, though it does little to confirm my own religous system.

My personal perception of God is ever changing. Like climbing rungs on a ladder as I grow spiritualy I can grasp yet a higher understanding of God. And yes, God is an asshole...but so much more.

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Anon I'm with ya on that statement. Hope you hang around.

Dende it is the same old argument. If the universe has a cause what caused the cause? Though you may be right maybe there is such a thing as a first cause. I find the argument very tautological.

To be honest with you I hope there is a God. Intellectually if I am honest with myself I can't accept that there is. If I play Pascal and his wager, it's just as plausible that if there is a God he could be anything that I fancy, maybe a deist impersonal God or something in my imagination. Then there is the Bible (which I think Pascal meant with his wager) and it's idea of truly accepting Jesus into your heart. If I am gambling on the existence of God, the one in the Bible I don't think he would think kindly of it. Because I wouldn't really truly believe. I would be just saying he did, on a chance that I made the right wager.

The cosmological proof just pushes the problem back one stage. You said that without God everything but the universe itself has a cause and that the universe is left uncaused. But the same problem applies to God. I can simply ask who created God or what caused God? Don't we get an infinite regress of creators creating creators or causes causing causes? It seems that we are forced to end this at some point. I don't see how adding God to the picture helps.

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According to the cosmological argument God is the uncaused cause, so there is no infinite regress. The point is that positing an uncaused cause is more plausible than positing that the universe "just is". This is because the former claim allows one to apply the principle of sufficient reason consistently while the latter does not, assuming that the universe is a thing. Of course there have been many theists who believe that the universe is eternal e.g. Aristotle; so even many theists reject this kind of argument and this kind of God.

How is saying the universe "just is" different then saying God "just is?" I fail to see the distinction. Or saying the universe is an uncaused cause. Why is a God more plausible as an uncaused cause then the universe? Like I say it's tautological.

I've been arguing religion for years. I find that trying to justify God through logic or reason is unfruitful and frustrates both sides. I don't know why I bother half the time. I am happy for those that believe in a God, but for me it doesn't make sense.

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The difference between saying God "just is" and the universe "just is" is that God by definition is not a contingent being, and moves without being moved. To say "but what caused God?" is to misunderstand the meaning of the term "God" (at least in the sense in which the proof uses the term). Of course that is the definition of God but it does not prove that such a being actually exists. What proves God's existence, according to the proof, is the principle of sufficient reason which says that everything must have a cause or explanation, as well as the premise that the universe itself is a thing. Since the principle (PSR) inevitably leads either to an infinite regress (in some versions of the proof) or to the question of cause of the totality of things caused, sufficient reason seems to demand that there be something that causes without being caused.

Could one say that the universe causes itself? I suppose but I don't know what this might mean. It surely doesn't answer the question of how an infinite regress of causes ends at some point. It also seems to go against typical understandings of causation, which include the notion that cause must precede effect. Perhaps saying that the universe is an uncaused cause is simply another way of saying that the universe "just is". In that case the statement seems to beg the question. Bertrand Russell dismissed the cosmological proof by asserting that the idea of the universe being caused is a misunderstanding. His reasoning was that the universe is not a thing in the same sense that all of the constituents of the universe are. This seems a better way to refute the cosmological proof than saying that the universe causes itself; the latter seems like a way either to accept the gist of the proof but refuse to use the word God, or to neutralize the proof by interpreting one of the key terms (causation) in an idiosyncratic way.

Is the cosmological proof tautological? By tautological do you mean a proof which argues from a definition? [E.g. 1. God is (by definition) the ground of all being. 2. There are beings. 3. Therefore God exists] The cosmoligcal proof does not take this form. Of course it employs the term God and defines it as the uncaused cause. But it does not take this definition as a premise in a syllogism. Rather the premises are 1. the PSR 2. The universe is a thing which must be explained according to the PSR. The conclusion is 3. Therefore the universe as a whole must have a cause or explanation.

Or perhaps by tautological you mean that the proof is only logically sound but the premises are very dubious. I agree to some extent. The PSR is not dubious at all, in fact you can't argue against it without using the PSR itself. As for the idea that the universe is a thing which according to the PSR must therefore have a cause or explanation, I admit that this premise is controversial. But it is at least plausible. That's what the debate is about but I don't think that this means that the argument fallaciously rests on a tautology.

Many people think that proofs of God's existence fail. These discussions are frustrating and unfruitful for some people. I happen to think that they are interesting even though I'm not completely convinced. But many other subjects in philosophy are like this. Some philosophers do not believe that there are such things as moral imperatives not reducible to hypothetical imperatives. So they think that moral philosophy, as typically understood, is a failure, just as others believe that philosophy of religion is a failure. But it is clear that attempts to prove God have a legitimate place in modern philosophy. They are not, e.g. like trying to do creationism in biology.

Of course even if the proofs work they don't establish that God cares about any of us, that he caused people to write the Bible, that he will save those who follow Jesus, etc. So as far as religion goes there may not be a great deal at stake in them.

When my son was born, he was extremely premature and came home with an oxygen tank. One day, driven mad by being in the house for months on end, I bundled him and his oxygen tank up and went to a local cafe for a cup of tea. The woman who owned the cafe, seeing the tiny baby and his oxygen, started lecturing me--"I tell you what you must do. You must get on your knees and pray to Jesus." After a while I said to her, "Look, thanks for you kind intentions, but if god is enough of a jerk to kill my kid because I don't praise him enough for having my son born more than three months early, then I don't like god. If god wants to kill somebody for not praying, he should kill me, not the baby."

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Good for you She Ra.

Randy Newman sang it best:

Cain slew Abel, Seth knew not why, For if the children of Israel were to multiply, Why must any of the children die? So he asked the Lord, And the Lord said:

'Man means nothing, he means less to me, Than the lowliest cactus flower, Or the humblest Yucca tree, He chases round this desert, 'Cause he thinks that's where I'll be, That's why I love mankind.

I recoil in horror fro the foulness of thee, From the squalor and the filth and the misery, How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me, That's why I love mankind.'

The Christians and the Jews were having a jamboree, The Buddhists and the Hindus joined on satellite TV, They picked their four greatest priests, And they began to speak, They said, "Lord, a plague is on the world, Lord, no man is free, The temples that we built to you, Have tumbled into the sea, Lord, if you won't take care of us, Won't you please, please let us be?" And the Lord said... And the Lord said...

'I burn down your cities-how blind you must be, I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we, You all must be crazy to put your faith in me, That's why I love mankind, You really need me, That's why I love mankind.' ~Randy Newman

That is simply perfect, Randy Newman's "God's Song"

Dende you have given me a lot to consider, but as the Terminator says "I shall be back" with an answer . Emmy lovely post.

Tim

Does the clay ask the potter, "why did you make me like this? Newmans perception of God was made from the bottom rung of a ladder that has no top. The bottom may be a good place to start. But its sure not the place to stop.

Dende I have done some research on the principle of sufficient reason. The first thought that came to me when I read your post was this looks complicated. Then as I digested it. I thought why can't you take the word God in the argument and interchange it with universe. My contention being that we have know way of knowing if God, is a thing or a being, just as we don't know that the universe is a thing or a being. I suppose it comes down to how you define it. The main word being "you" whether it's a personal defintion, a dictionary or any other way. I personally don't think you can define either because they both are beyond human understanding.

I found a perfect refutation of PSR on the internet http://www.vanderbilt.edu/~postjf/psr.htm. I agree with it completely you said in your post that you found these discussions interesting so I thought only fair that you read an opposing view to your own. Any way here are some excerpts from "How to Refute Principles of Sufficient Reason."

"No matter how hallowed by common sense and tradition, PSR today is in deep trouble. For one thing, PSR appears to conflict with the indeterminacy characteristic of many of the processes studied by quantum physics. For another, a conceptual argument against PSR has recently been constructed, an argument based on deductive inferences from PSR's own concept of explanation. The argument concludes that not everything can have an explanation of the sort claimed by PSR."

"Here Gale is assuming what he calls Weak PSR, about which he says "there is little question": for any entity, it should be at least possible that there is an explanation for its existence (203-204). Well, not physically possible, where physical possibility means consistency with the laws of physics, since by the quantum physical laws there are entities that have no explanation of the kind required by PSR, the universe included if quantum-tunneling accounts of its origin prove sound. But what about logical or conceptual possibility?"

And the last excerpt

"Given a final explainer, then, it is not logically or conceptually possible for there to be an explanation of its existence; not even a theistic explanation could be its only possible explanation, there being no possible explanation whatever. Nor could there be a rational longing to have an explanation of it, since a longing is rational only if it is consistent with rationally acceptable principles. All this applies as well to the universe if, as some have long argued, it is a final explainer."

Cheers,

Tim Jenson

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Very good stuff, Tim. I am very interested in critiques of the PSR. I'll have to look more seriously at what you've given me.

God is Holy, Just, and all loving and he will allow what ever it takes for us to come back to him after all he did make you and die for you.

Seek him first. Thoes who are willing to learn and rebuild their lives after such disasters know in their hearts there is more to life than waisting it like so many do. Thoes who spend more time arguing the facts, rather than going to the sourse, God through his word the bible, and see that life is not supposed to be easy it is full of disaster, judgment, beauty, love, forgivenss, death and life. Allow God to open your eyes and hearts to see the bigger picture remember it takes more faith not to believe in God than to believe, so to be honest all your doing is making another pointless religion. Jesus came to set us free from the law and religion so much so he came to fulfil the law that we might have life.

God is more concerend with are eternal life than are mortal life, he is more interested in your eternal life so much so he laid down his life, so that we might have life through his son who warned us to watch for the signs of his return. Understandable many are angry or confussed by God, but he made and allowed all you see around you to happen, he gave us free will and he knew we would mess up so he sent his son to reedem us from our selves. but through sin and the Adam nature we are on a self destruct course, but we have a choice to receive him and allow him to have his righteous way in our lives that we may Glory in his Life and restruction over the grave which no man has ever done except Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Wheather you like it or not every knee shall bow under heaven and on earth one day.

Concerned Friend,

I should have you all know that the Principle of Sufficient Reason originated with Leibniz, the philosopher I referenced in my first response, the first response of this particular blog. If you want to read more about it, read his "Monadology". It's only 20 pages or so.

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Oh My God! Oh My God! How can anyone respond to this post in any meaningful way considering the subject matter?? There are thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and debate on "God", trying to come to grips with mankind's most profoundly inexplicable, bizarre mystery of how the cosmos came into existence.

God is definitively not an asshole for the simple reason that God does not exist. You want a sure fire way to effectively shut a religious nut up? When asked by a religious person where the universe came from if there is no God, Just reply: OKay, so where did God come from? Shuts them up every time.

You can not expect a religious person to respond in any rational manner in the face of a disaster like this. The thoughts and manifestations of a religious person is no different than someone who is severely mentally imbalanced. Therefore, any attempt to explain or rationalize phenomena such as this, will, ergo, be as equally irrational.

A most apposite post, emmy247. The best yet of this thread. Temples tumbling into the sea, indeed.

How can anyone say God is not an asshole? When he assumes the role of being his own God. My God is timeless, without beginning without end.

It is true that science cannot offer the consolations that your correspondents attribute to prayer, and I am sorry if I seemed a callous ayatollah or a doorstepping bogeyman (Letters, December 31). It is psychologically possible to derive comfort from sincere belief in a nonexistent illusion, but - silly me - I thought believers might be disillusioned with an omnipotent being who had just drowned 125,000 innocent people (or an omniscient one who failed to warn them). Of course, if you can derive comfort from such a monster, I would not wish to deprive you. My naive guess was that believers might be feeling more inclined to curse their god than pray to him, and maybe there's some dark comfort in that. But I was trying, however insensitively, to offer a gentler and more constructive alternative. You don't have to be a believer. Maybe there's nobody there to curse. Maybe we are on our own, in a world where plate tectonic and other natural forces occasionally cause appalling catastrophes. Science cannot (yet) prevent earthquakes, but science could have provided just enough warning of the Boxing Day tsunami to save most of the victims and spare the bereaved. Even worse lowland floodings of the future are threatened by global warming, which is preventable by human action, guided by science. And if the comforts afforded by outstretched human arms, warm human words and heartbroken human generosity seem puny against the agony, they at least have the advantage of existing in the real world. Richard Dawkins Oxford

I'm disillusioned alright, disilluisioned with my fellow man. What Mr Dawkins failed to mention is global warming is a by product of mans actions guided by science. 169 whales beached themselves in the area affected by the tsunami only weeks before the disaster. Some believe the use of sound waves employed every few seconds 24 hours a day by oil companies working off the coast of Australia may have caused the beaching and possibly the shift in the tectonic plates. Officals in Thailand with scientific fore knowledge of the approching disaster failed to sound the alarm. What of the atom bomb, nerve gas, air pollution, the U.S. war machine raining destruction without mercy? Great scientific discoveries indeed. All preventable, all the actions of man emboldened by science. Placed in the hands religous zealots for a price. Trust the action of man guided by science? A ludicrous proposition. I Know God lives.

Prove God doesn't exist. God always existed, and you know it, your just fearful that if you admit it your argument is gone.

How are we here and if you believe in the false religion of Evolution which has been disproved by so many post evolutionist. It is highly improbable that man wasn't designed by a creator; this now leaves you with a problem how did we get here? Oh yea God, and that means we are all accountable for our actions.

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Can you prove she does swev?

What post-Evolutionists have proved evolution false?

Evolution is a PROCESS. Have you ever considered that evolution is the MEANS by which God created its beings? Or is God not capable of orchestrating such a sublime process, but rather had to create each being individually, like Zoos choose each animal it wants to lock up?

God has been an asshole for long enough. Comments on this post are now closed.

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