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I recently had my first child. When I look into my baby's eyes, I want to move mountains for him. I see the helplessness and need, and I could never even think about making him a victim of neglect or parental apathy.

It makes me think about the concept of God... God the father, that is. Hundreds of millions of his children look up at him every day crying and hungry, unable to feed themselves. About 25,000 of them die a lingering death, from hunger, every day. That's 10 million people every year. Its just staggering to think about. If God exists and calls himself "God the father" of all these people, how could he allow this to happen? How could a God of perfect love not be moved to act infinitely more by all that suffering than I, with all my imperfection, am moved to act by the fleeting cry of a single hungry but well-nourished child?

What a bizarre concept to ponder, from the perspective of a parent. A God who is perfectly willing and able to make manna literally fall from the skies when it fits his needs, but is happy to allow 25,000 of his children to starve to death every day, presumably in the pursuit of some unknown "greater good". Oh, and one more little detail -- by most estimates, if you believe only Christians are saved, about 20,000 of those 25,000 go straight to the depths of hell, every day, according to mainstream Christian theology.

Where is manna from heaven when you need it?
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Where is manna from heaven when you need it?

In Happy Fun Land, where the houses are made of gingerbread and gumdrops, and it rains donuts every morning.

In the real world, there's no evidence that such things ever happen, unless people make them happen.

--FY
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An interesting twist on the "how can God let that happen" meme. Personalizing it as you did I think makes the point even stronger.
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Congratulations, and welcome to the world, little guy!

GSF
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What a bizarre concept to ponder, from the perspective of a parent. A God who is perfectly willing and able to make manna literally fall from the skies when it fits his needs, but is happy to allow 25,000 of his children to starve to death every day, presumably in the pursuit of some unknown "greater good".



that's the trick of course .. Believing/accepting that there is a 'greater good' even though unknown


sort of like stuff parents do for children or the family that the child doesn't like and doesn't understand how it's better for them.
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Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Epicurus
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Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Epicurus


i've read that many times and Suddenly strikes me as very odd...

Epicurus was BC Greek (and gave us the word, 'epcurean')
... ancient Greek gods don't seem to be in the least omnipotent or benevolent.



( and odd in that it assumes what we think of as evil IS evil (to god)
... when my Mom forced me to eat her famous creamed potatoes SHE thought she was doing good ..i thought her potatoes were evil )
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One of the major factors that lead to my non-belief is that I could not accept that the god of the bible would be such an a$$hole.
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i've read that many times and Suddenly strikes me as very odd...

Epicurus was BC Greek (and gave us the word, 'epcurean')
... ancient Greek gods don't seem to be in the least omnipotent or benevolent.


Hmmmm I always associated that quote with Nietsche
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Good observation; Epicurus didn't say (write) that. But neither did Nietsche.

Here's what Hume scholar J. C. A. Gaskin says in the Explanatory Notes to his edition of Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion: "[N]o such terse and effective sequence of questions occurs in any extant work of Epicurus. The immediate source for Hume is very probably Bayle's Dictionary (which he is using extensively in this part of the Dialogues), the article on Paulicians, note E or (for both Bayle and Hume) On the Anger of God, ch. 13, by Lactantius (AD 260-340), for which see The Works of Lactantius, trans. W. Fletcher (Edinburgh, 1871; or London, 1951). A somewhat similar form of words occurs in Sextus Empiricus (second century AD), but there is no attribution to Epicurus. See his Outlines of Pyrrhonism, III. iii."

So Epicurus didn't say it, but hume started the rumour that he did.
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"sort of like stuff parents do for children or the family that the child doesn't like and doesn't understand how it's better for them. "

Yeah, at least thats how they try to frame it. But the next time I hear an explanation of how starving to death and going to hell is better for somebody than, well, any alternative whatsoever, it'll be the first.
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Oh, and one more little detail -- by most estimates, if you believe only Christians are saved, about 20,000 of those 25,000 go straight to the depths of hell, every day, according to mainstream Christian theology.

I think most Christians today would say that children under a certain age are not held accountable, therefore do not go to hell but go straight to heaven.

So that's alright then? No, it's not.

This is actually very much worse.
Think they are going to hell - maybe might do something to save them, which means feeding them.
Think they are going to heaven - best to let them die and be happy than live and be miserable.

Maybe not articulated as such, but I think it's there in some minds. Not all. But some.
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It makes me think about the concept of God... God the father, that is.

As a father myself, this concept of God as father simply makes no sense to me.

Some people claim their faith in God was strengthened when they looked into the eyes of their first child. The miracle of life and all that. Others claim that their faith helped them when their child was sick.

I have not felt this.

When my child was injured and in pain, screaming for his mother while she was holding him, I did not feel the presence of God. I worked on getting him the pain medication he needed.

Clearly, we are in this on our own.
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Hmmmm I always associated that quote with Nietsche


that would make more sense ...
but that N might have it so obvious god's
dead he wouldn't even argue the point



( the Wiki cites it as Epicurean Paradox
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So Epicurus didn't say it, but hume started the rumour that he did.



cool

.. have to remember this next time the quote shows up
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I think most Christians today would say that children under a certain age are not held accountable, therefore do not go to hell but go straight to heaven.

This was precisely what I and my church-going family and friends were taught. I always wondered, even as a child, at what point is "under a certain age" since that was never really discussed? Was it five, or ten? Does it depend on an IQ test? What if you were 'saved' - as many of us were (at least ritually) prior to even knowing what that was supposed to mean? Sometimes baptizing alone will do it and often a reason given for the baptizing of infants v. adults. Then there are the post-death conversions such Mitt's father-in-law.

Pete
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I always wondered, even as a child, at what point is "under a certain age" since that was never really discussed?

In our church (Methodist) it would be at confirmation, age 14. Think the Catholic church is the same.
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Hi Vandy

Over here your question about the sky god thingy has mainly been answered. Now if you posted this over at Christian Fools that would probably be the right venue.
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"sort of like stuff parents do for children or the family that the child doesn't like and doesn't understand how it's better for them. "

Yeah, at least thats how they try to frame it. But the next time I hear an explanation of how starving to death and going to hell is better for somebody than, well, any alternative whatsoever, it'll be the first.



i often say the only way Christianity makes sense* is if you're a solipsist





* iff Goldrushes is wrong.
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goofnoff wrote: Over here your question about the sky god thingy has mainly been answered. Now if you posted this over at Christian Fools that would probably be the right venue.

In my experience, heathens don't really want answers.
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I wonder when I read that about what sorts of beliefs were associated with the mystery religions of the greeks. But, since they were mysteries, we don't know a lot about them.
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