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God Tests People So He Can Learn=crappy Argument

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Posted by S.H. Le on February 13, 2001 00:20:12 UTC

Hey everybody,

I think Rich's perfectly valid point is being missed here.

ARGUMENT 1:
As i understand it, this is the nutshell:
God = a being that is omnipotent, omniscient, and all benevolent.

The problem: The analogy comparing scientists as seekers of information to that of a supreme being (although seemingly plausible) neglects certain fundamental differences between scientists and God. When you think about it, it's a shakey analogy.

1) God knows everything... but scientists do not. Presumably, the whole purpose behind performing experiments is to learn things we don't already know. God shouldn't have to test humans because he already knows everything (by definition - otherwise he wouldn't be God). Heck, he should know things before they even occur - so one would assume an all knowing being could see into the future.

2) Isn't God also perfect? Testing is an entirely human concept - of course this only becomes problemmatic when we impose this "curious" human characteristic onto God.

The dilemma: Is God really all knowing or isn't he? Consider this. God knowingly created Adam and Eve - beings that clearly were unable to resist temptation when it came down to it. Compound this with the fact that God also absentmindedly left a cunning "serpent" in the garden who enjoys messing with people's heads. Was it really unforseeable (especially for an all knowing being) that original sin would happen here? The God of the bible clearly has a ton of human characteristics... For instance the whole situation with killing massive numbers of people in the biblical flood for example. That strikes me as a tad unGodlike.

So isn't it likely that the God of the bible is simply a projection of the wishes of humans - a wish for some higher being, albeit a being with very human flaws.

ARGUMENT 2:
(essentially a rehash of Rich's/The wise Eggplant's original argument)
1) Evil exists.
2) God is the initially cause of all things.
C) God created evil.

Now why would God (an all benevolent being) create evil? Baffling.

ARGUMENT 3:
What's so bad about knowledge anyway? Why would God withhold information about good and evil from us in the first place? As you said it prevents us from doing any "good" acts.

The fact of the matter is, notions of morality cannot exist without sentient minds in a society. Good and evil are human constructs that exist only so people will go on existing in a cohesive functioning unit without killing each other. Society needs "laws" so that people will stay in reasonable proximity to one another - the more people threatened by an act the more likely it will be deemed evil. Morality is determined through consensus. In a society of saints, it might be considered immoral if you forgot to say hello to someone while walking down the street.

Ex. People used to be really threatened by homosexuality... it was considered evil by many. BUT today, with the tolerance that comes only from education, we realize that people don't choose to be gay because they're evil, that's just the way they are. Consequently we're less threatened by it, and homosexuals are no longer considered evil.

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