Has anyone heard an argument like this before? (I came up with it on the way to work.)
It is logically possible for God to have brought into being creatures that were infinite like himself.
Instead God chose to bring into being finite creatures (namely us).
God’s actions here are analogous to a human choosing to have a disabled child rather than a perfectly healthy child.*
A mortal parent who made such a choice would be acting immorally.
Therefore God, an infinite being, in choosing to bring into being finite beings is being analogously immoral.
Therefore God is not good.
(* For the analogy to work the human parent would have to be free to bring into existence a healthy fetus or an unhealthy fetus but chose the unhealthy one.)
What do you think?
It is worth mentioning that believers tend to have the same morality as whatever god they believe in. There is a good captioned picture to that effect on TA somewhere. Their gods seem to dislike the same things as they do.
I don't particularly like it. By that I mean, I don't think it would pose any difficulty to any somewhat intelligent theist.
It presumes the nature and intention of the creator god you're describing.
Debating the nature of a deity you don't believe in is simply stating an opinion of that deity's nature, not debating the existence of said deity.
Why presume an inherent handicap to being mortal? Seems pretty cool to me and I think it's pretty peculiar to want to be immortal. Besides, mortality allows very real things like natural selection to happen.
Some religions, like Christianity, believe in an immortal soul. This life is just a testing ground to see where the soul will spend that eternity.
I guess the summary of all of that is I don't know whose god you're arguing against so I can't see who would be stumped by this.
My intention was to use the argument to suggest that the traditional Christian conception of God (all powerful, all knowing, all good) is logically flawed.
Very similar to this:
Only 2 of the following can be true:
1. God is all loving
2. God is all powerful
3. Suffering exists
Since 3) is known to be true, then 1 or 2 (or both) must be false. Of course, the problem is also solved if God does not exist.
In the Catholicism I was taught, suffering had zero importance.
Suffering's non-existence logically followed; the above 1 and 2 were asserted (w/o evidence, BTW).
As the story goes, a high angelic being fell and brought down an army of heavenly host with him bound to Tartarus. So limiting the powers of the opposition is probably a good thing.
This is what I ask Christians - If you were a god and you made conscious beings... would you demand they worship you? Seems a bit assholish.
If a passerby theist may respond...
If you were a parent and had a child, would you demand/expect that they respect you? Sure. Why? Because that's important at one stage in their development. Later on, that will hopefully mature to something more like friendship.
What you need to address is the Christian notion of God as Father / Mother / parent.
A good parent will let his/her child have freedom, even though that means that they may suffer. Good parents buy their children bicycles and let them ride, even though there will likely be tears at some point, and maybe even a fatality. Good parents let kids climb trees, even though they may fall. Why? Because that's how kids learn and grow.
Bubble-wrapping children to keep them safe from all suffering isn't loving. It's abusive.
Interesting, bubble-wrapping children can range from abusive to caring.
Can it be that Professor Robert grew up in an abusive home, and ___ grew up in a caring home?
No abuse in my family, @Tom. Classic American suburban middle-class youth. My parents are quite up in years, and my mom is mostly gone with degenerative MS, but my dad is still with her. Love them both dearly.
I was allowed to ride my bike and climb trees, though!
The differences between human parents and an omnipotent God present some problems for this comparison.
Letting children have some freedom is a good strategy so that children can learn to deal with a dangerous world that the parents did not create and do not control. God, on the other hand, created the world with all its dangers and presumably controls every last bit of it. Whereas the parent has only limited control over the child and the immediate environment and must choose parenting strategies accordingly, an omnipotent God has complete control over the child and the entire universe. In such a case, even if he largely limits his control, he is still fully responsible for the entire situation.
Essentially, I think your side needs to address the full ramifications and significance of omnipotence. I would imagine that God could have created a world with free creatures that also does not include hurricanes and volcanoes and the like. He also created our human nature. For example, when some ask why God allows wars to happen, the theist response is often that he allows humans to have free will and conduct our own affairs. However, he could have made us a more mellow and less warlike species. This would not violate our free will; we have no more choice to be warlike than we would to be mellow, if that is how he had made us.
Stutz, convene the court.
You provided the jury with the evidence they need to find the theists' god guilty of dereliction of duty, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.