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"You acknowledge your inability to know the best course of events and yet stipulate what the best course of events would be?"
Perhaps I should have been more clear: I cannot conceive of the specific timeline of a "perfect" Universe, but I can broadly describe its nature (as above) by extrapolating from moral concepts. It's similar, if I may present an analogy, to extrapolating the characteristics of the concept of infinity; one can do it, in extremely general terms, but it, as a concept, is inherently alien to our reality, and is thus incapable of comprehension.
"Further, my view of a creator is not that of an overbearing tyrant that feels the need to control everything."
As previously stated, this discussion specifically concerns Monotheistic theology, which does indeed present the concept of God as being an active agent in the world.
"I imagine that a God, if/when taking any action on his creation at all, would merely gently guide people."
Sounds like a derivative of Deism, and, if God does indeed exist, that would be the belief set most consistent with observable reality.
"Firstly, you assume that omnipotence makes impossible events possible."
It does, by the very definition of the term.
"In addition, if suffering didn't exist but pleasure still had significance, we cannot even imagine such a reality. Since we cannot even imagine such a reality how are we to compare and contrast it with our current reality?"
To reiterate, I'm not discussing specific possible events; the only comparison I'm making between the two is in terms of morality, and even then the only relevance this possesses to my argument is which one's greater in terms of morality and fortune.
"Dictated? So you don't believe in free will at all? Obviously as a psychologist I am aware that there are environmental, genetic, social etc. influences on behavior but taking a stance of pure determinism requires belief."
I'm simply referring to the physical nature of the human psyche. Obviously people act of their own volition, but their will, which is not random in nature, is continually formed and influenced by a variety of factors, the nature of which I'm sure you're far more familiar with than I am. Of course, that means anyone could theoretically do anything, but that doesn't follow along the lines of reality; for example, I could theoretically attempt to execute a bank heist right now, rather than writing this post, but I possess no will to do so (in this case, my moral nature prohibits it), so I won't.
"If one accepts free will (admittedly also unprovable), however, one can see that God has no responsibility for the actions of his creations."
Assuming that reality is fundamentally regular in nature, which it must be (for reasons I'd be quite happy to elaborate on in another post), it follows that God created the Universe with exact knowledge of the repercussions of its actions. Rejecting God's responsibility for the outcome of these actions is, to reiterate from my previous post, morally analogous to blaming the firearm for the murder, since it didn't stop the murderer from firing it.
"Atheism certainly isn't a lack of a worldview, everybody has a worldview. One could be an agnostic atheist and not hold any belief on the existence or non-existence of God, however they would still hold a worldview."
In what context? I must admit, I'm somewhat confused as to your meaning of the term "worldview".
"Moreover, in your statement that "theism is inherently self-contradictory", you are demonstrating atheism in a non-agnostic manner. In other words, your assertion implies you don't believe a God is even possible, rather than simply lacking a belief that one exists."
My original post specifically condemned the idea of a Theistic God. If Theism were the only belief set in which God could exist, then yes, that would be the case.
"Just so you know, I used to be a Christian, then became a militant atheist, then an agnostic atheist and now I'm theistic."
I'm sure there's quite a story there.
Or, given the specificity and regularity of these downvotes (near-simultaneous, exactly the same in number, and all targeting exclusively my posts that contradict yours), the only rational conclusion is that you abused multiple accounts to downvote my posts, presumably to compensate for your arguments' inability to hold water.
Failing to hold a particular position on a given issue does not imply one takes the opposite stance on said issue. Atheism, the term literally meaning "lack of Theism", is a failure to take a position on the existence of God. Disbelief in God's existence (a definite claim that shares the burden of proof) is properly called "Antitheism", being the direct opposite to Theism.
This is something of a long-winded manner of describing a simple set of two dichotomies: regarding a given issue, one either takes a position on that issue, or doesn't. In the former case (this dichotomy is a subset of that option), one either takes a positive stance on the issue in question, or takes a negative stance. But a prerequisite to the latter dichotomy is that one takes a position on a given issue to begin with, which Atheism explicitly denies.
"You simply need to make logical assessments and claims that make sense."
Do you have any specific examples, or are you going to follow along the lines of Dermot-style argumentation, and simply claim my fallaciousness with no basis?
""An omnipotent god must choose a 'moral path' according to me" is as bad of an argument as is possible"
Fortunately, I've not made that argument, as I've explicitly and repeatedly stated.
"Everytime someone demonstrates that you are a pseudo-intellectual, you ban"
If that we're the case, everyone taking the "I disagree" position in this debate would be banned. As you are the only person banned from this discussion, it follows that your statement is wholly false, like your other statements, but this one is by far the most blatantly inconsistent with reality, and as such is worth responding to.
Perhaps I should have been more clear; the initial assumptions and context of the terms used (specifically "Morality" and "God") were derived from Monotheistic theology. Of course, without a "holy book" to go by, the concept of "God" becomes far less concrete, and therefore more inclusive of characteristics like the absence of omniscience or omnipotence.
"I notice that, not only are you capitalising random words"
I'm not sure that proper nouns and indications of Monotheism over Polytheism (as is the case with "Deity") constitute "random words".
"after it was explained to you very precisely,"
That you say that both as if it's true and that it wasn't you engaging in said "explanation" is, I must admit, quite amusing.
"unaware that part of having debates is acknowledging when your argument is wrong."
I'd be happy to do so, if you could prove it in a rational, rather than baseless, manner.
"A man who cannot admit error is a man who cannot learn."
I'm sure you know all about that.
"This probably explains why all your posts are thin on reason"
Other than the fact that my accusations are pointed, you have yet to make any specific accusation against my reasoning, and the majority of my original post consisted of categorical extrapolations?
"You can find synonyms easily through Google."
Or through reading for years, as I have. Call me an elitist, but I'm of the opinion that eloquence derived solely from third-party resources is meaningless.
"Reason however is a bit more difficult to come by. You can't fake that."
That certainly doesn't stop you from attempting to do so, does it?
I must say, I find it quite amusing that all of my rebuttals to your statements in this debate magically received exactly five downvotes. That you're abusing this platform's features to decrease the apparent intellectual value of your opponent's position belies the invalidity of yours.
"First of all, I have no idea how any human with such a small amount of information and such limited ability to process said information is making such a claim. (Please note I'd describe myself as such too) How would you know what the "best" reality would look like? It's like how a child only wants to eat sweets and ice cream for every meal: they don't know what's best for them and neither do we."
I don't possess this information, and I didn't claim to. I can, however, logically extrapolate from given information; the "best" possible course of events, being set up by an omnipotent, omniscient Deity must be universally perfect, and therefore homogeneous in terms of morality and fortune of outcome. As history does not follow along these lines, it follows that these assumptions are inaccurate.
"Evil, immorality and misfortune are all necessary phenomena."
We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient entity here. If suffering is an immutably necessary prerequisite to our existence, it follows that God is not, in fact, omnipotent. If it was, it would, by definition be capable of creating reality in a manner that did not require suffering, in which case its existence is deliberate, thus tying into my original point.
"Finally, one must realize that if life has free-will then things can never be perfect."
This follows along the lines of the prior argument. Further, "free will" does not abdicate God of responsibility for the effects of its actions; our actions are dictated by our genetic predispositions, coupled with environmental circumstances, both of which God orchestrated with full knowledge of their implications. Denying this is intellectually analogous to abdicating a murderer of responsibility for their actions because the firearm they used to commit the act didn't refuse to fire, despite having ample opportunity to do so. Sure, it could, but that course of action would be contrary to its inherent nature (in this case, being an inanimate object, rather than thought based on the aforementioned parameters). It's simply asinine.
"However I think when you realized your worldview was incomplete you latched onto another incorrect worldview simply because it incorporated the dissonant piece of information: the existence of suffering."
Atheism (when using the term accurately, as is so often not the case nowadays) is, by definition, a lack of a worldview. To what are you referring, then?
"Your position is flawed in that your criteria for what is best may not be relevant from an objective, omniscient standpoint."
This statement is only valid if one simultaneously claims the entirety of historical reality to be capable of being considered the "best" possible course of events to take place, a position I doubt you, or anyone, holds.
"It is also somewhat problematic to assume there is a code of conduct (morality) for the being who is the standard for all codes of conduct. If God has morality, then God is beholden to concepts that are derived from some other standard."
The morality in question (as I implied in my original post; perhaps I should have explicitly stated it) is, in regards to this debate, derived from the "holy books" held as either the explicit or inspired word of God. My overarching claim being that a Theistic God is a self-contradictory concept, it's only natural that the moral standards in question are claimed to be derived from God.
"God is arguably supra-moral, in which case your position doesn't hold."
For the sake of clarification, as the term is somewhat vague, will you please clarify the definition of "supra-moral"? Further, can you present evidence from the aforementioned "holy books" that this term, rather than it's conventional counterpart, applies to the Theistic concept of God?
"If God knows the future then he is no longer omnipotent because it means he can't change his mind about what happens in the future. If he can change his mind about what happens in the future then he no longer knows the future."
To start off, these assumptions are made by Theists, not myself. Your insults are therefore meaningless.
Further, your statement assumes the future to be immutable, which itself necessitates the lack of omnipotence of God. In simpler terms, your argument comes to the conclusion that God cannot be omnipotent because it cannot be omnipotent. With this clear lack of knowledge regarding simple logical fallacies (in this case, circular reasoning), I think a debate platform may not be the best venue for one of your ilk.
"Have you considered that it is because God decides on what is moral, not some random narcissistic idiot on the internet who is too stupid to debate people without lying and/or distorting the facts?"
Moral values based on Monotheistic holy books (excepting certain acts encouraged by the Quran) are contradictory with historical reality. Who said I was determining the meaning of the term "moral"?
"Are you aware that you are stupid? I ask this seriously. If you are aware and are just having a little bit of fun then that's fine. But if you actually think rambling pure gibberish at people is a sign if intellect then, with respect, I think you belong in a psychiatric institution."
Once again, you demonstrate your clear disinterest in civil, rational discussion. As those virtues are necessary prerequisites to meaningful debate, it follows that no interaction with you will result in such, and it is therefore pointless. This, combined with your obnoxious, thoroughly unnecessary personal attacks is justifiable grounds for banning you from this discussion. I repeat: I'm banning you for y ou e inappropriate behavior, not your position.
"Morally correct is a subjective terminology. It's meaningless because it is different to each individual."
We're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, supernatural entity here. Are you claiming God to be less than all-knowing?
"God isn't bound to anything that you deem to be "the best"."
Other than that all Monotheistic religions insist it to be a moral entity. If the results of its actions aren't moral, how can it be so?
You do realize you can present more than one argument in a single post, right? Or are you just spamming?
"You pulled a random accusation of bias out of your asshole."
Are you serious? Bias is prejudice for or against an entity (be it a person, population, or organization). Are you seriously claiming that your original post is not indicative of bias?
"It isn't my fault that you are too stupid to understand the implications of that statement."
Oh? We've yet to "discuss" the implications of your acknowledged bias, so why are you assuming my lack of comprehension?
"Your insults only show your own childishness and stupidity."
That was not itself an insult, but a condition of the next phrase in that sentence (I.E. "if... then"). Why you apparently feel the need to add another baseless insult here is beyond me.
"So failing to agree with your completely baseless accusation which was not supported by anything remotely resembling evidence is "absurd"."
The only "evidence" I would need to substantiate my point that your original post is biased is the definition of the term, and the post itself. Both are objectively observable and easily accessible, and I've already pointed out how they're related. Must I go into explicit detail?
"You are deceitfully isolating the word "bias" from your initial attack, which also concerned my civility and my wit."
More projection; the only reason I reference the accusation to the exclusion of the other two is because you've apparently decided to fixate on it. I'm simply rebutting your statements.
"This is dishonest and stupid."
Failing to provide all points made equal attention is "dishonest and stupid"?
"Also dishonest and stupid is pulling random accusations of bias out of your idiotic asshole and expecting other people to disprove them."
I don't think you understand the meaning of the term "random". My accusation of uncivility should be fairly obvious, since your original post consisted of quite literally nothing but baseless insults directed towards Conservatives, while my accusation of lack of wit, while somewhat subjective, was based on the supreme lack of diversity in said original post: all of those statements can be summed up in one of three sentences: "Conservatives are wrong", "Conservatives are idiots", and "Conservatives are deceptive". This singularity quite early on reaches the point of redundancy, hence lack of wit.
"Let's not because the only person who enjoys reading the idiotic, convoluted gibberish you type is you."
That you're focusing on my writing format (which, interestingly, you have yet to provide any specific accusations against, other than "it's bad") rather than my point itself speaks volumes of the legitimacy of your position.
"so I do not have a fucking clue why you are using a debating site. You are an idiot."
Given the intellectual dishonesty on display here, I wonder that myself. Actually, come to think of it, you've yet to provide any specific accusation against an argument of mine, instead dismissing everything with some variation of"it's wrong, that's self evident fact, and you're an idiot". In my experience, that's invariably indicative of faith in one's own beliefs (in this case, hatred for Conservatives), which is so unfathomably strong as to completely overpower reason and decency. As that's clearly the case, I believe I'm done here. One can only beat their head against the brick wall of madness for so long, after all.
"This was when you randomly pulled the word "bias" out of your asshole and tried to use it as a weapon."
I pointed out that your post was obviously biased, which you yourself acknowledge is the case.
If you pay any thought to what you write (which is highly questionable), you may have noticed that you both claimed my remark regarding your bias was the basis for a rebuttal (which is in of itself absurd) and that it's entirely irrelevant to the topic at hand. I feel I shouldn't have to point out the self-contradictory nature of these statements. If you're going to be rude and call others retarded, you could at least have the decency to be consistent.
"The sad thing about your infantile circular argument is that it applies to every fact in the known universe. Bananas are yellow? You're just saying that because you're biased."
What are you talking about? Let's take the two statements I was referring to, and use them in the manner I stated:
"but the reality is I am biased against Conservatism because it is stupid" (your statement)
"Stupid and morally wrong" in your thoroughly unsubstantiated opinion." (my statement)
Now, where's my claim that you're wrong because you're biased? The only mention of bias was on your part, and bore no relevance to my claim of your argument's invalidity.
"Like I mentioned once already, you are a petulant child using playground rhetoric and expecting a serious reply."
The irony is not lost on me.
"Such as everything you have thus far said."
Care to explain how, or are you going to persist in your utterly unsubstantiated attacks?
"You decided to start a "meaningful discussion" by ignoring the topic"
As above. Further, how is making a statement regarding the characteristics of your original post irrelevant to it?
"and using sarcasm to launch a series of unprovoked personal attacks?"
Holy mother of projection! A simple comparison: which is an "unprovoked personal attack", A. making a sarcastic remark regarding the characteristics of an asinine, thoroughly unsubstantiated personal attack on the subscribers to an entire political ideology, or B. said personal attack, not to mention all the baseless namecalling that follows it?
"Why not just post your opinion about the topic instead?"
I believe I did.
"So you expect not to be called names"
Given that this is a debate platform, that would be what one hopes for.
"in response to your unprovoked personal attacks? "
I love how you state that as if your original post was anything but that.