A New Theistic Argument

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
Cnsl1
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:27 pm

A New Theistic Argument

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat Apr 13, 2024 12:40 am

Maybe God really exists.

Often atheists point out that if God were real, they'd not allow the suffering of innocents and the gross mistreatment of children. It seems counter intuitive that a supreme being or creator who loves their creations would allow such things, or consent to a plan whereby only a very small fraction of their "children" would succeed in reaching the top rung of the heaven ladder and that the vast majority of families would never be together forever. I've heard atheists say, if that's what God wants and that's their plan, well then F*@% God! And since a God would never do that, there can be no God.

Makes some sense.

But... and let's stay within the Mormon conceptualization of God. God isn't the only God just the God of this world. There are more gods, God's God for one, plus his God's God or grandgod, as well as his great grandgod, aunt and uncle Gods and God cousins. A plethora of Gods. Statistics, which is based on math, which is supposedly the language of the universe, would predict that not all gods are identical and that godlike traits are very likely normally distributed. This would suggest that the majority of gods are average when compared to other gods. So, our odds are strong that OUR god is god-average with intelligence, charity, omniscience, and omnipotence falling within one standard deviation of the mean when compared to a normative sample of gods. Just under 70% of gods are going to be average gods.
But, statistics, which again is based on math which is the language of the universe, would predict that there is some universe with a god who is a couple standard deviations BELOW the god mean. Maybe that's us?

That might explain a lot.

Our God already admitted being an angry God, and is also certainly jealous, demanding no other gods before them. With regards to emotional maturity, our God just might be a bit delayed when compared to other gods.

Maybe our God isn't winning any chess games with other gods. Maybe our God rode the short bus to Deity School and needed lots of help with math.

But like with people, there are so many traits to measure. Perhaps our God excelled in looks, cuz I've seen lots of our God's creations and they are smokin'! And omg let's talk about the grand canyon. Maybe we got the artsy fartsy, bipolar, ego maniac God.

Again, that might explain a lot.

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 3653
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by wtfluff » Sat Apr 13, 2024 6:56 am

Something fun I read the other day about this theistic argument:
If god is going to go to all the trouble it takes to make it look like they don't exist, It's only polite to believe them.
Last edited by wtfluff on Sun Apr 14, 2024 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

User avatar
alas
Posts: 2381
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by alas » Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:15 am

wtfluff wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2024 6:56 am
Something fun I read the other day about this theistic argument:
If god is going to go to all trouble it takes to make it look like they don't exist, It's only polite to believe them.
This just made my day. Just like when a very old person does not want to tell you their age, or a very fat person does not want to discuss the latest fad diet, or a woman who placed a baby for adoption is not open to you talking about the existence of that child, if God wants to hide evidence of their existence, and just isn’t willing to discuss the fact of their existence, well, it is best to at least not keep bringing it up and bringing it up and bringing it up. If we did that to a human, they would be very offended and not want anything to do with us. Maybe why God quit coming around.

On the theory in the original post, I think it much more likely that men keep making God in their own image, and those men being very flawed, keep telling everybody else what (their own flawed) God is like. So, if we have horrible men making God out to be just like them, then all we have to do is recognize that those men are horrible men and of course vent a horrible puppet of a god that they control, because it really is only them projecting themselves onto the “god screen”.

I read something years ago about “what if the women weeping at the bottom of the cross had written Christianity.” So, Mary, mother of Christ, Mary Magdalene, and whoever was there…John the beloved was one who stayed at the cross because he was there to hear Jesus say that Mary was now his own mother. So, cut Paul, Peter, Mathew and the like out. Then this essay wrote up a brand new Christianity all about, “let’s stop this kind of cruelty from happening to anybody else’s son.” So Christianity becomes about stopping cruelty, crucifixions, conquered countries, poverty, and all unkindness. It isn’t about getting out of the responsibility of our own sins as the current “atonement” is seen as, but about stopping those sins from happening in the first place. It isn’t about stoning homosexuals or stoning (female) adulterers (but not the man adultering with her) but about love and kindness, NO MATTER WHAT.

So, when we project onto God our own helplessness at stopping all that evil that atheists project onto God and say that therefore God does not exist…..maybe we are missing the point. Maybe God wants *us* to stop all that suffering, not just throw our hands up in the air and yell at God for not doing what we are too lazy to do anything about. It’s like Republicans saying “school shootings are not the guns,” but it is mental health. And then pulling even more money away from mental health. And offering thoughts and prayers instead. God doesn’t want our damned prayers. He wants us to *do* something.

All we as atheists do when we say “if God existed he would stop this suffering” is blame God for our own helplessness. Yeah, I hate feeling helpless too.

But Mormonism does have an explanation for earthly suffering. We made a decision to come to a fallen earth where God would not stop human suffering or interfere with the choices we make. We knew when we came here that God would ignore all pleas of “please stop me from hurting.” Oh, maybe he cries with us, but he promised us he would not interfere with this life and all the hardship we would face. So, if we believe in Mormonism, why do we expect God to answer our prayers? Because we believe in th prosperity gospel.

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 5112
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by moksha » Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:38 pm

Thinking back to the advisory Council of Gods:

Jesus
Satan
Buddha
Krishna
Manitou
Joseph Smith
Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis)
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

They all returned and reported to God. Manitou foresaw a disturbance in the force concerning Joseph Smith and Donald Trump.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 7143
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:44 pm

Reminds me of a song:

What if god was one of us,
just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?

If God is the unwanted child who was dropped on his head at birth and can't get anything right, then we, and all his other creations, must be reflections of his cognitive limitations and all of the other gods are just shaking their heads and clicking their tongues at how embarrassingly f'ed up their little brother's messed up attempts.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 7143
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Hagoth » Sun Apr 14, 2024 2:51 pm

alas wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:15 am
So, when we project onto God our own helplessness at stopping all that evil that atheists project onto God and say that therefore God does not exist…..maybe we are missing the point. Maybe God wants *us* to stop all that suffering, not just throw our hands up in the air and yell at God for not doing what we are too lazy to do anything about.
But would it be that hard for him to pop in once in a while and give us a little pep talk, or at the very least just show up in the sky and wave?
alas wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:15 am
But Mormonism does have an explanation for earthly suffering. We made a decision to come to a fallen earth where God would not stop human suffering or interfere with the choices we make. We knew when we came here that God would ignore all pleas of “please stop me from hurting.” Oh, maybe he cries with us, but he promised us he would not interfere with this life and all the hardship we would face. So, if we believe in Mormonism, why do we expect God to answer our prayers? Because we believe in the prosperity gospel.
It makes it sooooo much easier to explain why we shouldn't care about that kid picking through the Calcutta trash heap looking for something to eat. It's because he chose that and he needs that experience to earn his reward in heaven. Which brings me to my old rant about how the people born in Utah Mormon homes, if the church's story is true, could not possibly be the chosen elites they think they are. They must actually be the weakest of the weak-willed to need that kind of mollycoddling to make it through earth life. The real spiritual giant would be that kid in the Calcutta trash heap.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 3653
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by wtfluff » Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:57 am

alas wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:15 am
...
So, when we project onto God our own helplessness at stopping all that evil that atheists project onto God and say that therefore God does not exist…..maybe we are missing the point. Maybe God wants *us* to stop all that suffering, not just throw our hands up in the air and yell at God for not doing what we are too lazy to do anything about. It’s like Republicans saying “school shootings are not the guns,” but it is mental health. And then pulling even more money away from mental health. And offering thoughts and prayers instead. God doesn’t want our damned prayers. He wants us to *do* something.
...
The words above remind me of a quote from Ex-CEO Kimball:
Spencer Woolley Kimball wrote:God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom.
I can't remember exactly when the switch flipped inside my fluffy brain, and my translation of that quote became: "God is your neighbor."

Maybe I was staring at a rock in a hat? (I don't remember that either.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

User avatar
Ghost
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:40 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Ghost » Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:27 am

An idea that's sometimes thrown around is that Lucifer rebelled not out of pride but because he sincerely believed that Heavenly Father's plan was flawed. That the types and degree of suffering baked in just weren't worth it and there must be a better way.

This also makes me think of the part in Bruce R. McKonkie's "Seven Deadly Heresies" where he argues that God must be omniscient and no longer progressing because otherwise there's a possibility that He could come up with a better plan after running countless souls through the old one.

And of course there's no guarantee that if there's a creator the creator is good, or that the being humans interact with (if any) is the creator. Could just be like that Twilight Zone episode where the astronaut happens upon the tiny people and decides to make them worship him.

User avatar
alas
Posts: 2381
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by alas » Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:26 pm

Ghost wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:27 am
An idea that's sometimes thrown around is that Lucifer rebelled not out of pride but because he sincerely believed that Heavenly Father's plan was flawed. That the types and degree of suffering baked in just weren't worth it and there must be a better way.
I think he did honestly think there had to be a better way. I mean, if there is any truth to the whole “war in heaven bit” which is not likely. But I have always kind of thought that the one third the host of Heaven who said “no way.” We’re the smart ones. I mean, honestly, what does that starving kid in Calcutta learn that will help them be a kinder gentler God. I think the main lesson would be, “do not set up your earth that way.”

I personally think the one time test is the stupidest of all concepts. That guy with the cushy life with wealthy parents who love him has a much different test than the child at 5 years old who is handed a rifle and has to kill to eat, or the kid with alcoholic abusive parents that dad takes her to the bar and sells her to his buddies for a sex toy. Just what kind of sick God thinks that is a fair “test”? Spelling test, one kid gets the word “cat” while another gets told to spell out the Navaho morning prayer when Navaho doesn’t even have a written language with letters to spell with.

maybe reincarnation where you get a test of 600 different lives and see how well you do on average.

User avatar
alas
Posts: 2381
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by alas » Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:28 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:57 am
alas wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:15 am
...
So, when we project onto God our own helplessness at stopping all that evil that atheists project onto God and say that therefore God does not exist…..maybe we are missing the point. Maybe God wants *us* to stop all that suffering, not just throw our hands up in the air and yell at God for not doing what we are too lazy to do anything about. It’s like Republicans saying “school shootings are not the guns,” but it is mental health. And then pulling even more money away from mental health. And offering thoughts and prayers instead. God doesn’t want our damned prayers. He wants us to *do* something.
...
The words above remind me of a quote from Ex-CEO Kimball:
Spencer Woolley Kimball wrote:God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom.
I can't remember exactly when the switch flipped inside my fluffy brain, and my translation of that quote became: "God is your neighbor."

Maybe I was staring at a rock in a hat? (I don't remember that either.)
In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these… God is your ugly mean neighbor who drowns puppies and yells at kids to get off his lawn.

Cnsl1
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:27 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Cnsl1 » Mon Apr 15, 2024 11:30 pm

But as Oaks said, let's not be so zealous to obey the 2nd great commandment that we forget the first.

Don't love your neighbor TOO much.

(And this is one reason I think Oaks is full of himself and full of shit. I'm sorry. Let me back up and apologize. Let me reserve judgment. Let me give leaders, esp Oaks, a chance to explain more what he meant by that, a quote that was requoted in this recent conf. Are you talking about LGBTQ folks, Mr Oaks? Are we showing them too much love? Please clarify. I always thought that Jesus meant loving your neighbor was a way to show love to God. Do it unto the least of these. )

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 3653
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by wtfluff » Tue Apr 16, 2024 6:39 am

alas wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:28 pm
In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these… God is your ugly mean neighbor who drowns puppies and yells at kids to get off his lawn.
Oops.

Sorry you live next to Old Testament neighbor-god. :cry:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

User avatar
alas
Posts: 2381
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by alas » Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:45 am

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2024 6:39 am
alas wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:28 pm
In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these… God is your ugly mean neighbor who drowns puppies and yells at kids to get off his lawn.
Oops.

Sorry you live next to Old Testament neighbor-god. :cry:
Well, that was *not* how I meant it. But, yeah that would be Old Testament God. I meant it as “you should be nice to the neighbor even if you don’t particularly like them.”

And my neighbors are great. Very nice people. Far from drowning puppies, they raise too many of the barky little things. Cute, but barky. One neighbor breeds and prepares for specialized training as service golden retrievers. They are such loving obedient well mannered puppies. The other one, just has 10 ill-mannered barky mutts, half of which are puppies.

User avatar
Just This Guy
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:30 pm
Location: Almost Heaven

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:38 pm

alas wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 7:26 pm
I think he did honestly think there had to be a better way. I mean, if there is any truth to the whole “war in heaven bit” which is not likely. But I have always kind of thought that the one third the host of Heaven who said “no way.” We’re the smart ones. I mean, honestly, what does that starving kid in Calcutta learn that will help them be a kinder gentler God. I think the main lesson would be, “do not set up your earth that way.”

An interesting wrinkle in this theological discussion is the idea that history is written by the victor.

So Jesus's plan won, and Jesus was the person telling Moses(?) how it went down. How reliable is Jesus telling this story? It is very possible that Lucifer had very good, well thought out reasons for his plan. Heck, it was good enough for 1/3 of the host of heaven.

What if Jesus simplified the story when telling Moses? Maybe left out a few key details of the other's ideas that would have made the events easier to understand, but made the opposite party more sympathetic? There are all sorts of questions that could be asked.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 7143
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by Hagoth » Thu Apr 18, 2024 5:55 am

Ghost wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 9:27 am
And of course there's no guarantee that if there's a creator the creator is good, or that the being humans interact with (if any) is the creator. Could just be like that Twilight Zone episode where the astronaut happens upon the tiny people and decides to make them worship him.
Or the H. P. Lovecraft stories where it turns out there really are gods but they are at best chaotic and neutral, sometimes idiot gods, and sometimes actively malevolent, but never kind and loving.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 5112
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: A New Theistic Argument

Post by moksha » Thu Apr 18, 2024 2:16 pm

Cnsl1 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2024 11:30 pm
I always thought that Jesus meant loving your neighbor was a way to show love to God. Do it unto the least of these.
Yes, but... That doesn't show the highest obedience to The Brethren and make their hatreds your own. "Do what we say and hate who we hate; therefore, you are loving the God of Latter-day Saints."
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 32 guests