Monday, 9 January 2012

Debating the Dumb on Facebook

This is a conversation that started with the question of why God won't heal amputees. It took place on the Facebook page "The Reliability of the Bible put to the Test - probation" as detailed in my other blog update tonight, here

I'll spare you the majority of what was a futile attempt to talk sense to drooling morons and pick up where the page's creator, Charles Watson, enters - ready to make himself look dumb for our collective amusement. Enjoy!

Please note; I've changed my name to DawkinsDog, my Twitter name.

Cliff Peterson 
 ‎DawkinsDog said "If god knows I'll not change my mind then I logically cannot change my mind, doing so means god didn't know in the first place!"
That is exactly true. The key element is that YOU don't know. God knows what you will decide, but God is NOT making that decision foryou. That is the difference.
Cliff Peterson  ‎Lee xxxxx asked "If this is the case and I don't, why create people that he know before they even exist that they will burn in hell forever."
Matthew tells us that few will find the strait gate that leads to life. If God created only those who choose him, that would eliminate free will. Rather than being so concerned with all of the people who will not find it, why not choose to be one who does? That is the ultimate question.
DawkinsDog  ‎/That is exactly true. The key element is that YOU don't know. God knows what you will decide, but God is NOT making that decision foryou. That is the difference./
Cliff, I'm befuddled here, it makes absolutely no sense to me. Let me explain how I see it, given what you're saying.
God creates me. Before he creates me he, being omniscient, knows every decision I will make - regardless of whether he'll influence those decisions, he knows them. This is correct, yes?
Well I cannot possibly change any decision from that which god has foreseen as it would violate his omniscience. So free will doesn't exist, my life is preordained.
It also still raises the argument that god is creating those whom he knows will live and die atheists. Take, for instance, Christopher Hitchens (using him as an example because we're all familiar with his work). God would have known before Christopher was born that he would live the life he did, Christopher could not change that which is preordained. This, logically, means god also knew Christopher would die an atheist and, therefore, the claimed repercussions of such.
So why would a loving, merciful god create somebody he knows even before birth will die an atheist and therefore suffer eternity in hell? Surely the only answer is that he wouldn't, so he can't be loving and merciful.
Remember that this is on top of the demand that we repent in Christ, regardless of our earthly actions towards our fellow man. Again, this is a logical nightmare for those claiming morality. I'll explain.
I'm murdered by somebody. I'm an atheist, I go to hell for eternity. My murderer escapes, spends his life free (even murdering others) and, before he dies, repents his sins and turns to Christ. Because he has done this, he goes to heaven.
The logical conclusion? It matters not one jot how we behave towards our fellow man, we can treat everybody as dirt, murder, steal, rape - anything we like - just so long as we repent before we die. This means the only criteria for heaven is to fulfil god's narcissistic demand for worship. This is utterly immoral on every level and, frankly, any god who is this narcissistic cannot be considered remotely perfect either!
Doubtless both of these scenarios will be dismissed and I'll be told I'm wrong, but it'll be interesting to see the mental gymnastics required to bend around the moral minefields :)
Charles Watson  I stopped reading at the point where you said ones life is preordained because that is poor logic. Omniscience does not preordained actions but foreknows what will be freely chosen.
Charles Watson  Btw, the Bible does not say one cannot be saved out of Hell or that Hell's purpose is to torture sole forever with no chance of forgiveness.
DawkinsDog  ‎/I stopped reading at the point where you said ones life is preordained because that is poor logic. Omniscience does not preordained actions but foreknows what will be freely chosen./
We cannot freely choose anything if god already knows beforehand what we'll choose. It doesn't matter if he's set out our life, or whether he influences it - if he already knows what we will choose then it would violate him omniscience if we do other than he has foreseen.
Take it up with Cliff, he's the one saying god knows every decision we'll make!
Charles Watson  Mental gymnastics around what? You perfect truth and accurate logic concerning God or illumination on how your logic is very flawed?
DawkinsDog  In your opinion. I find it odd others, even a Christian, on another page agreed with me that it did seem to contradict god's perfection!
DawkinsDog  She didn't like the idea that I'd go to hell regardless of my earthly actions whilst my murderer could go to heaven. So, clearly, she doesn't agree with god's rules either.
Charles Watson  God does know every decision we will make. He does not Predestinate every action we make but foreknows what we will freely choose to do. There is a difference. It's clear Biblically that God does all He can to draw us to Himself but "some are unwilling."
Charles Watson  When you presuppose certain truths about God that are not consistent with His nature, it is very easy to build these flimsy straw-men you insist on constructing.
DawkinsDog  ‎/God does know every decision we will make. He does not Predestinate every action we make but foreknows what we will freely choose to do. There is a difference. It's clear Biblically that God does all He can to draw us to Himself but "some are unwilling."/
This is illogical in the extreme. Look, thought experiment time.
Put yourself in god's position. You're about to create somebody and you know every decision they will make throughout their life, even before they're created. Right? I'm not saying you will influence those decisions, it doesn't logically matter if you do or not, you know what the outcome of those decisions will be.
Why would you continue to create that person if you already know they will die an atheist? You must know they will because you've already said god knows every decision we'll make.
You can't argue we have free will because then you'd not know the outcome of every decision, and not be omniscient.
DawkinsDog  ‎/ it is very easy to build these flimsy straw-men you insist on constructing./
Excuse me but you're the ones building an idea of god's character based upon a book. I'm merely pointing out the logical flaws in the character you're building.
Charles Watson  Well, maybe Hell's purpose is not what you think it is...
DawkinsDog  Ah, so I'm right and now you're changing what Hell's purpose is?
Doesn't matter. Why would god create somebody for whom he already knows the destination is other than heaven?
Also, touching back on the OP, why would god do all of that and then pile on top a lifetime's suffering of being born a paraplegic?
Charles Watson  Would it be wrong of God to allow someone to become a paraplegic?
Charles Watson  I don't know all of God's purposes but wrong happens because of sin.
DawkinsDog  Ah, but if somebody is born a paraplegic whose sin are they paying for?
If you say original sin then that means god is unjust, visiting the punishment for Adam and Eve's transgression upon the ancestors.
Also, that whole Adam and Eve thing brings you back to the other argument - god must have known every decision so knew before it happened that Eve would succumb. So why did he allow it knowing it would lead to damnation for so many? She had no free will in the matter either, not if he already knew her decision!
God's really not coming out of this argument very well from where I see it lol
Charles Watson  The world is full of bad because of sin. Ever heard "Why does bad things happen to good people?"
DawkinsDog  But Charles, sin only exists because god allowed Eve to eat the apple - which he knew she'd do because he must have foreseen it!
So whose fault is it that the fall happened? Eve for doing exactly as god had foreseen or god's for allowing the scenario to play out that way and then blaming everybody but himself!?
Charles Watson  God saw her free decision and saw far more good would come out of it than bad. He promises to work out good for those who love Him who are called according to His purposes."
DawkinsDog  So we're back to god's imperfection - one of demanding we love him.
Perfection lacks nothing. It cannot require something of us as payment.
Charles Watson  True freedom comes with the possibility to do as one shouldn't.
DawkinsDog  True freedom cannot exist, it can only be an illusion.
If I knew every single action you would take in your life, Charles, you could not do anything differently without violating the rule that I know everything you will do. It's a logical fact.
Charles Watson  Knowing something will happen/ foreknowledge is different than predestination.
DawkinsDog  How?
If god knows that tomorrow you will have Cheerios for breakfast then, whether you like it or not, you will have Cheerios for breakfast because if you don't it violates god's foreknowledge!
DawkinsDog Doesn't matter if he reaches down and pours them for you, it's irrelevant. You have no more control over your decisions than an actor in a film that god's already seen. You can't change the scene, he's seen the whole storyline already.
Charles Watson  If we don't then God foreknow something else which we freely chose. You must not blend knowing something with determining something.
DawkinsDog So basically god knows every outcome of every decision on a "ah, they've done that, so now xyz will happen?"
This means god doesn't know what our decisions will be beforehand.
Charles Watson  He's seen the freely chosen scene but He did not write it. He allowed it to be as we would freely choose it to be with manipulating a few things all the while not violating free choice. If God planned things scene by scene... He need not come down and live "freely" as man to accomplish what we just so happened not to be able to do.
Charles Watson  He knows our free decisions and allows us to do things even though they may not be for our best interest because He created us to be free... Opposed to robots.
DawkinsDog  See, the problem I'm having is that you're now contradicting Cliff, who said god knows every decision we'll make before we make it.
Can you two sort out who is right before asking me to argue against the logical fallacy of it all?
Charles Watson  He does know everything... strawman?
Charles Watson  Time for bed... ttyl
DawkinsDog  Please, stop accusing me of strawmen, Charles lol
Look, Cliff is saying he knows every decision we will make before we make it.
You are saying he doesn't know what decision he'll make until we make it but does know the outcome of that decision, what it leads to.
So neither of you are arguing the same thing, so how can I be expected to counter two contradictory arguments?


  1. Was "Dawkins' Rottweiller" taken?

    --Mack The Turtle.

  2. I liked the alliteration of DawkinsDog, and I had a picture of a dog I liked ready to use :)

  3. Sorry for the anonymous. I'm unfamiliar with how to post on your page using my name.

    You can counter contradictory arguments DawkinsDog. Simply respond by showing each for its flaws. I do that all the time.

    In response to you though, your argument is specious. You forever conflate foreknowledge with causation. By your standards, a security guard who allows a thief to pocket an item before he arrests the thief should be held accountable for said theft.


  4. a wise man once said - never argue with an idiot, those watching might not be able to tell you apart...


    although - I do it too - sometimes you can't help it, it can be just so much fun and inviting...Or one of them says something so ridiculous you are compelled to correct them... call it 'divine intervention.'
    however - other times, I pity any furniture with a hard surface area that my forehead may come in contact with... 'gawd' knows I've pulverized a few desks in the last few months..

    <3 Kat

  5. In response to Cliff I shall simply facepaw, for the comparison fails completely.

    Is god omniscient and knows everything or isn't he? We're constantly told he is. If he is then he must know my every action before I make it, therefore he created me in the knowledge I would be an atheist. I cannot possibly convert to theism if god is omniscient and already seen my life as an atheist, doing so contradicts his omniscience. This is not difficult to comprehend.

    The security guard didn't create the thief in the knowledge he would steal, he didn't create him at all! If he had then, yes, the security guard would be guilty of the damn crime. He didn't, the comparison is therefore redundant.

    Surely I'm not the only person seeing this logic?

  6. Oh, and Kat, I agree entirely but hope that those reading will realise which of us is the blithering idiot ;)


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