T Nation

Religious Questions of Logic


Which makes more sense:

-that an all knowing, all powerful, and supremely loving, perfect being would bring into existance children which he knew before creating them, due to being all knowing, would not choose him with their free will and then would be pillaged, raped, destroyed, and burn in hell for eternity, or that a culture back in the day made a religion that justified their rape, pillage, and taking over of their neighbor's lands?

-that an all knowing, all powerful, perfect being needs imperfect beings to serve him and sing his praises for eternity, or that a culture back in the day wasn't sure what would happen when they died, and being welcomed into the presence of a perfect being and surrounded by all their buddies for eternity sounded good?

  • that people don't know how to interpret the Bible, or that interpretation changes with the needs/beliefs of the culture you live in?

  • that religious stories are literally real or that they are a venue to pass down cultural knowledge of food preparation, work habits, sexual activity, and social activities which have helped the culture survive?

  • that any imperfection can even indirectly result from a perfect being, or that the religion's human creators had terrible logic skills?


stop it right now. this thread has no place in PWI. there is no place for logic in a discussion about religion...just you wait and see.


You sound like you have some experience. I bet you'll be right in the end. The furthest I can go is asking the question. There's no point in debating if the person chooses the idea that makes less logical sense to begin with.

Are there any other questions you can think of to add to the list above?


A few, but the problem here in PWI is like being attracted to someone of the opposite sex that is just wrong for you. PWI is intellectually titillating, and that's attractive. But it's full of opposing views, morals, and opinions and there is rarely any resolution to the endless arguments about politics and religion. We have those to the right, to the left, and rarely do they meet in the middle. We have atheist one one end, and Evangelical zealots on the other, and rarely is there a meeting in the middle on any point. The only people that meet in the middle, are those that are in the middle to start, and they usually contribute in GAL where the stakes are much lower, and light-hearted.

PWI is like falling in love with someone on attraction only, but never being able to get along with them. In the end, it looks attractive, but you can never get along or come to any agreement.


I'll preface this with the fact that I am an atheist at least in the sense of not believing in a theistic god.

As a starting premise though why would you think that a theistic god would be constrained by logic? Logic is demonstrably valid in the universe. Same with science. We can't use these tools to say what is outside of the universe or existed prior to its creation.

This is the ultimate failure of the problem of evil to have anything meaningful to say, any quality or description we try to give things outside of the universe are simply wild ass guesses.


Groo- if we can't hold the supernatural to any of the same standards as the natural, then we can't say that we have any knowledge whatsoever of the supernatural. There would be no way of defining the supernatural whatsoever. We couldn't say "loving" or "perfect" with any meaning. There would be no way of talking about it.


This is a fair assessment and true we can't have any empirical or logical knowledge of the supernatural. Whether its possible to have supernatural knowledge is debatable and largely not disprovable. You cannot hold existential claims of the supernatural to the same standards as observations of the natural world. It is kind of the definition of supernatural.

While I certainly think there aren't good reasons to believe supernatural claims holding them to the same standard as a claim of science isn't fair.

That being said its equally likely for any supernatural being to exist. Santa Claus is the same as the existential architect of the universe. I am simply remarking its impossible to disprove through logic or science claims that a person perceives to be supernaturally inspired.

You can talk about it all you want however. Most things people talk about they do on faith whether its a faith in science or a faith in the supernatural...meaning by this people operate pragmatically and solipsistically the people that claim a belief in scientific law for example largely only go on what a trusted source says not through experiments they have performed, same with religion people go off what a trusted source told them not some personal divine revelation.
While obviously I think science is a better way of seeking truth call a spade a spade most people trust in through faith not any personal examination of the facts.


Groo- I completely agree that the supernatural can't be disproven. I just like to present alternative thought patterns for those who don't normally question the first possibility they're presented with.


I think it a much more tenable position for a religious person to hold that there is a creator, but ultimately we can't know anything about that being. I think it might be even possible to frame an argument that such a being giving us existence is good...at the very least to us. The trappings of the various religions though ring hollow to me.

Though I do think its not a particularly good thing to disrespect believers for believing so long as they are sincere. Those that cherry pick scripture in the old testament to be intolerant for example, but leave other verses lie are purely hypocrites that deserve no respect. Followers of the new testament that are sincere largely seem to be good regular folks looking for some meaning and generally are involved in doing good works.


Free will, greatest good.


I think being interested in the truth and developing a questioning mind that reconsiders evidence is pretty paramount to the survival of our culture nowdays. I agree that most followers of most religions (not just western) have great intentions, but there is an intellectual price to pay for saying you know for sure about something you really don't.


Sounds like you have paid a great intellectual price yourself to say that religious people have paid some intellectual price to do something you say they do.




This is what you should expect here in this sub-forum.

For what it's worth, you are right, there is a large price that has already been paid by the religious to assert their fairy tales as fact.


You should take this statement into the epistemology discussion already underway in the Why did God create Satan thread and see where it gets you.

And for that matter, so should the OP, as this thread is HIGHLY redundant being that the other thread about basically this exact topic already reached the maximum 1000 posts and a new thread has already been started beyond that.


Why should they do that? On the last page of that thread alone there are a ton of posts quoting scripture as fact arguing doctrinal points that are mind numbingly boring for I'd hazard a guess even most theists. They aren't arguing epistemology. I can assume that positions close to Wittgenstein's from his lectures aren't going to be met with any type of acceptance in a debate of believers even though he is holding that believers and nonbelievers aren't in any contradictory position.


Because it is the same topic, making it redudant...as Cortes said.


This is what you should expect here in this sub-forum.

For what it's worth, there is a large price that has already been paid by non-theists religious to assert that theists believe in fairy tales instead of being intellectually honest and using correct vocabulary...oh and also respectful and refraining from ad hominem attacks.

NB: Yes, I can generalize with the best of them. Sorry kamui (sp?).


I don't think its the same topic. Do you think Wittgenstein is correct that belief and non belief are not necessarily contrary positions?

How do you feel about the problem an eternal god poses for god to be a redeeming god? Do you think Wolterstorff's argument for god being everlasting instead solves these problems of the nature of a Christian god? Do you think such distinctions are welcome or even discerned in an argument about knowledge which quotes scripture without seeing the problems of scripture that come from an eternal god?

I like questions like these about the nature of religion, especially when treated by thoughtful Christian philosophers like Wolterstrorff.


Do you believe in the birth of a man with no father?

Fairy tales.