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  1. #21
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Isn't "a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it" mainstream Xtian doctrine?
    Why are you asking me? This is your argument. You need to show that this is the case.

  2. #22
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And this is the free will apologetic, which has already been demonstrated to fail.
    Label it how you like, but it doesn't fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    There's no reason someone with free will couldn't still rebel against a deity which revealed themselves directly.
    There's no reason God must follow your line of thinking here. If God wants people to come to him through prayer and faith, then that's just the way it is. Any argument by you to the contrary is personal opinion and irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    There's also the issue here of god playing favourites. If I have two kids, and I want both of them to know me, and one has actually met me but I don't interact with the other one in any demonstrable way whatsoever, I can't then hold them both to the same standards and expectation of knowing and believing in me, rewarding the one who does and punishing the one who doesn't.
    Again, this is just your opinion of God should behave.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  3. #23
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Why are you asking me? This is your argument. You need to show that this is the case.
    And I've explained the argument. Again: Here we're assuming the kind of Xtian theism which holds that the supposed deity is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it, which is mainstream Xtian doctrine. It simply strains credibility for a being with such power to not be able to do something as simple as reveal itself sufficiently to convince everyone, if it wanted to.
    So, if you don't believe that type of Xtian theism, then no problem. At the end of the day, either you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone and wants to, or, in your case, you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone but doesn't care to do it, but punishes anyway people for not being convinced. Take your pick.

    ---------- Post added at 04:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    There's no reason God must follow your line of thinking here. If God wants people to come to him through prayer and faith, then that's just the way it is. Any argument by you to the contrary is personal opinion and irrelevant.
    Then he's creating countless people he knows will never "come to him through prayer and faith" and will have to punish for something that isn't their fault. I'm curious, have you actually considered the full implications of what you're describing? A deity who'd send billions of souls to hell just because he isn't willing to convince them like he has others?

    Further, I'll also point out that what you describe isn't even coherent: "come to him through prayer and faith". "Prayer" is done by one who already believes (has already "come to him"), and "faith" fails because it's not a reliable pathway to truth, as demonstrated by the majority of people who disagree with you on your theistic conclusions. So your apologetic here is nothing more than "God wants people to just believe in him on faith". You're essentially saying that your deity lacks even the most basic understanding of epistemology. This contradicts literally every other claim about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Again, this is just your opinion of God should behave.
    No, it's explaining why playing favourites by giving one child an advantage, and punishing the other child for failing to get an advantage is a dick move. I guess you're okay with being treated that way, but I sincerely hope you'd never treat your kids that way.

  4. #24
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And I've explained the argument. Again: Here we're assuming the kind of Xtian theism which holds that the supposed deity is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it, which is mainstream Xtian doctrine. It simply strains credibility for a being with such power to not be able to do something as simple as reveal itself sufficiently to convince everyone, if it wanted to.
    You've explained your argument, but you have not supported it. What I am asking is fairly simple: Support that your premise (That God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe") is consistent with mainstream Christian theology.

    Simply declaring that it is does not constitute support.

  5. #25
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Futureboy and Freund,

    You guys should make sure you’re not talking past each other. There’s simply no question that God could do “X”, because the Bible clearly puts no constraints on God’s capabilites. The objection seems to be more a question of willingness over capability (and you should probably brace yourselves for a drawn-out Epicurian discussion).

  6. #26
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Futureboy and Freund,

    You guys should make sure you’re not talking past each other. There’s simply no question that God could do “X”, because the Bible clearly puts no constraints on God’s capabilites. The objection seems to be more a question of willingness over capability (and you should probably brace yourselves for a drawn-out Epicurian discussion).
    Agreed, though, I would again point out that the "free will argument" is not particularly sound regarding God allowing himself to be known to all that wish to know him. However, the part of the claim Freund is objecting to:
    "Since an omnipotent being could easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe" is not sound. God can NOT "make everyone believe" He exists without infringing on free will, since surely some just may not want to know. When you use the term "make", free will is no longer in play.

    Now God could allow His existence to be known to any person that desired to know as easily as He has allowed himself to be known to individual people in the past, and this is in keeping with Christian doctrine.

  7. #27
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Then he's creating countless people he knows will never "come to him through prayer and faith" and will have to punish for something that isn't their fault. I'm curious, have you actually considered the full implications of what you're describing? A deity who'd send billions of souls to hell just because he isn't willing to convince them like he has others?.
    That is your interpretation. And some Christians actually share that view. I do not. I believe the Bible says that nonbelievers will be judged on how they treat other people. I could find the Bible passages for you, if I had to, but I don't think I do. The point is that your interpretation is not the only possible one. It is your opinion based on what (little) you may know or think you know (rightly and wrongly) about what the Bible teaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Further, I'll also point out that what you describe isn't even coherent: "come to him through prayer and faith". "Prayer" is done by one who already believes (has already "come to him"), .
    If you're saying only by them, I think you're wrong about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You're essentially saying that your deity lacks even the most basic understanding of epistemology. This contradicts literally every other claim about it..
    Well, I think you're wrong, and you're just offering your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, it's explaining why playing favourites by giving one child an advantage, and punishing the other child for failing to get an advantage is a dick move. I guess you're okay with being treated that way, but I sincerely hope you'd never treat your kids that way.
    FB, it sounds like you're angry that God doesn't make you believe. Is that the case?
    Last edited by evensaul; December 27th, 2018 at 03:28 PM.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  8. #28
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    "Since an omnipotent being could easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe" is not sound. God can NOT "make everyone believe" He exists without infringing on free will, since surely some just may not want to know. When you use the term "make", free will is no longer in play.
    Well, again, I don't know that this passes the smell test. For what it's worth, I take your point IF by "make" futureboy means something like "force" but, I doubt he means something so myopic by the word; I certainly don't sense such an interpretation from anything he's said on the matter. But, again, if that IS the case, then I would agree that this would be a blatant encroachment on free will and your point is well-taken.

    But if the suggestion is that God revealing himself to someone and thereby persuading that person that he exists is an encroachment on free will, then that's where the free will objection simply doesn't hold up. After all, Saul persecuted Christians until Jesus revealed himself to Saul on the road to Damascus, which Saul obviously found to be extremely persuasive; it was EXACTLY what it took TO persuade him.

  9. #29
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I take your point IF by "make" futureboy means something like "force" but, I doubt he means something so myopic by the word; I certainly don't sense such an interpretation from anything he's said on the matter. But, again, if that IS the case, then I would agree that this would be a blatant encroachment on free will and your point is well-taken.
    I guess we shall have to wait for Future's clarification, cause that is how I thought he meant it, though I may have misunderstood.

    ---------- Post added at 06:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    But if the suggestion is that God revealing himself to someone and thereby persuading that person that he exists is an encroachment on free will, then that's where the free will objection simply doesn't hold up.
    I agree in the idea you are getting at, though I still think the term "persuade" is a bit off the mark. I don't want to get sticky about particular terminology (especially because I think we basically agree) but I think the idea is:

    God letting the truth of His existence to be known does not encroach on human free will.
    Faith that God exists is not necessary to protect human free will.

    I have yet to hear a free will argument that passes the mustard (an Mt'ism there).

  10. #30
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This OP is about the kind of religious theism which claims that there's a deity that interacts with reality in a detectable way, and wants us to know it and have a relationship with it. It's mostly about Xtian theism, bu can also apply to other types of theism.
    Okay. And I will be addressing the general concept of the invisible deity and not be addressing anything specific to Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Since an omnipotent being could easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe, the fact that this hasn't happened supports the conclusion that it doesn't exist.
    I don't see why. The only reason that one would reach that conclusion is to forward the premise that if a deity could reveal itself to us, it would do so and therefore the fact that it's not done so indicates that it doesn't exist.

    But the premise that a deity would reveal itself if it could has not been supported so any conclusion based on that premise likewise fails for lack of support.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    To add to the problem of hiddenness, we also have the issue that there's absolutely no evidence that a deity actually exists, or at least interacts in reality in any detectable way. Many will try to reject this as an argument from the absence of evidence, but there's actually more to it. I agree that, in many cases, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However, in cases where we would expect our reality to be a certain way if a theistic claim were to be true, the fact that we don't see reality being that way is evidence that the claim is false. One example is the complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means, and the failure of naturalistic prayer fulfillment to achieve a success rate greater than chance. If a deity which answers prayers is claimed to exist, then the fact that we have observed no prayers actually being answered is evidence that this deity doesn't exist.
    That only supports that the deity, if it exists, does not answer prayers. It does not support that no deity exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Other examples include the numerous errors and inconsistencies within religious texts which, assuming a deity that is intelligent and able to communicate, count as evidence that such a deity does not exist.
    But again, that only supports that the deity does not communicate, not that it doesn't exist at all.

    While many Christians do believe that God answers prayers and communicates, such a thing is not part of the definition of God (see dictionary) so a deity who does not communicate is still a deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The issues above make a lot more sense on the hypothesis that the claimed deity doesn't exist, and that theists' often wildly differing attempts to answer these problems are nothing more than sophistry. Indeed, the very existence of "apologetics" only further supports the hypothesis.
    But then I think I've addressed the problem quite well. I hypothesize that God exists but doens't communicate with us (note: that's a hypothesis, not a claim). That addresses the notion of God's non-communication just as well as the hypothesis that God doesn't exist at all.
    Last edited by mican333; December 28th, 2018 at 06:49 AM.

  11. #31
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Okay. And I will be addressing the general concept of the invisible deity and not be addressing anything specific to Christianity.
    Then feel free to start your own thread. Any statements not related to the OP will be disregarded as spam.

  12. #32
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Then feel free to start your own thread. Any statements not related to the OP will be disregarded as spam.
    From the OP.

    "It's mostly about Xtian theism, but can also apply to other types of theism." So the OP clearly says that it's not exclusively about Christian theism.

    But either way, my rebuttals directly addressed your points so they are clearly not spam. So will I see a counter-argument to my rebuttals or do they stand?

  13. #33
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    That is your interpretation. And some Christians actually share that view. I do not. I believe the Bible says that nonbelievers will be judged on how they treat other people. I could find the Bible passages for you, if I had to, but I don't think I do. The point is that your interpretation is not the only possible one. It is your opinion based on what (little) you may know or think you know (rightly and wrongly) about what the Bible teaches.
    To clarify, the OP is regarding the kind of Xtian theism which claims that non-believers go to hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Well, I think you're wrong, and you're just offering your opinion.
    You're entitled to your opinion, but since faith is not a reliable pathway to truth, any deity which would require faith, by definition doesn't understand epistemology. You can offer arguments for why faith should be considered a valid source of truth epistemologically, but other than that, you're just stating your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    FB, it sounds like you're angry that God doesn't make you believe. Is that the case?
    Why would I be angry? Are you angry that Zeus didn't make you believe in him? In any case, this is not an actual response to my statement.

    ===============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But either way, my rebuttals directly addressed your points so they are clearly not spam. So will I see a counter-argument to my rebuttals or do they stand?
    I've clarified that your arguments are not related to the OP. The statement that the OP "can also apply to other types of theism" doesn't mean any type of theism is valid for discussion here, it means that there may be types of theism to which the OP could apply. The type of theism you've forwarded isn't one of them, as already confirmed.

    ===============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    You've explained your argument, but you have not supported it. What I am asking is fairly simple: Support that your premise (That God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe") is consistent with mainstream Christian theology.
    Simply declaring that it is does not constitute support.
    I'm sorry you don't understand, but I've explained the argument. What is being assumed here as Xtian theology is a deity which is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it. Since there is nothing within Xtian theology which specifically limits the deity's ability to convince everyone, the ability to do so follows from the ability to create a universe from nothing.
    So again, if you don't believe that type of Xtian theism, then no problem. At the end of the day, either you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone and wants to, or, in your case, you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone but doesn't care to do it, but punishes anyway people for not being convinced. Take your pick.

  14. #34
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I've clarified that your arguments are not related to the OP. The statement that the OP "can also apply to other types of theism" doesn't mean any type of theism is valid for discussion here, it means that there may be types of theism to which the OP could apply. The type of theism you've forwarded isn't one of them, as already confirmed.
    You've said that my arguments don't apply but have in no way shown that this is so. Please explain how my rebuttals do not apply to your arguments. Until you do that, you have no valid basis to reject my arguments and therefore they stand as valid rebuttals to your arguments.

  15. #35
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    You've said that my arguments don't apply but have in no way shown that this is so.
    I've shown that it is so by explaining that your arguments are referring to a deity not included in the OP.
    Here are some examples:
    Mican: That only supports that the deity, if it exists, does not answer prayers. It does not support that no deity exists.
    The OP is regarding a deity which is claimed to answer prayers.

    Mican: I hypothesize that God exists but doens't communicate with us
    The OP is regarding a deity which is claimed to communicate with us, so your statements are not related to the OP. Start your own thread.

    This is now the 3rd time I've clarified for you. Further responses from you which don't add to the discussion will be flagged as spam.

  16. #36
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    To clarify, the OP is regarding the kind of Xtian theism which claims that non-believers go to hell.
    LOL. And any other Christian beliefs or Bible interpretations that don't match your exact needs will be similarly disregarded, so that God matches your required parameters. Too funny.

    Oh, and you still haven't carried your burden of support effectively, and can only try to pass it to others.

    If you've nothing else to offer, I'm done here.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  17. #37
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I've shown that it is so by explaining that your arguments are referring to a deity not included in the OP.
    My deity does fit in with the OP. Explained below.

    Please note that I've bolded the word "Claim".


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Here are some examples:
    Mican: That only supports that the deity, if it exists, does not answer prayers. It does not support that no deity exists.
    The OP is regarding a deity which is claimed to answer prayers.

    Mican: I hypothesize that God exists but doens't communicate with us
    The OP is regarding a deity which is claimed to communicate with us, so your statements are not related to the OP.
    If there's a deity that does not communicate with us but people (incorrectly) claim that it does, then it fits both what is defined in the OP and my argument.

    If people claim that a deity talks to them but the deity does not talk to them, the deity still exists. Just like if I claimed that Donald Trump talks to me in my sleep but he doesn't, Donald Trump still exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This is now the 3rd time I've clarified for you. Further responses from you which don't add to the discussion will be flagged as spam.
    And I believe that I've clarified that you are incorrect about my argument being spam.

    We are both referring to a deity that people claim communicates with them.
    Last edited by mican333; December 28th, 2018 at 08:59 AM.

  18. #38
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    If you've nothing else to offer, I'm done here.
    Not that I'm surprised or disappointed, but if you refuse to provide valid responses to rebuttals of your arguments, then you abandon them.

  19. #39
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    I'm sorry you don't understand, but I've explained the argument. What is being assumed here as Xtian theology is a deity which is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it. Since there is nothing within Xtian theology which specifically limits the deity's ability to convince everyone, the ability to do so follows from the ability to create a universe from nothing.
    So again, if you don't believe that type of Xtian theism, then no problem. At the end of the day, either you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone and wants to, or, in your case, you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone but doesn't care to do it, but punishes anyway people for not being convinced. Take your pick.
    It's clear that you researching and trying to understand what Christians actually believe is not going to happen.

    Feel free to knock down your 'Xtian theism' straw man.

  20. #40
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It's clear that you researching and trying to understand what Christians actually believe is not going to happen.
    I'm sorry, but it's not my fault your beliefs are internally inconsistent. I've offered argumentation for the conclusions being reached. If you refuse to respond and address the conclusions and their implications, not my problem. So far, all you're doing is putting your fingers in your ears and shouting "lala I can't hear you". Again, if you can't provide any specific reason why a supreme being capable of creating a universe out of nothing would not be able to convince everyone if it wanted to, then you either believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone and wants to, or you believe in a deity that is capable of convincing everyone but doesn't care to do it, but still punishes people for not being convinced.

 

 
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