Recently a post from a fellow by the name of “beardeddisciple” surfaced. The replies an feedback can be found at that link. Here is a systematic rebuttal of one of those replies to the Oracles:
Let us break this apart.
1. “You say that we can’t comprehend the knowledge of God and then say that death can never be justified.”
True, the knowledge of God (by default omniscient) would be difficult to comprehend. Very difficult. Segments of it, however, can be rationally deduced from observations of the world around us. From that knowledge, we can ascertain that an omnipotent being would indeed be able to prevent the unwanted death of innocence. The justification of that death by way of dictum Deus, often prevents us from finding a cure. Without the motivation of responsibility, we drastically slow progress.
2. “If you don’t know all of the facts there may be something you don’t see.” Very true. It is nearly impossible to know all facts. But there are several facts we can understand. Quantum mechanics, statistics, cardiology… It may be wise to take one’s own advice here. While it is true, that Oracles don’t see everything, we do make it a point to see as much as possible.
3. “Furthermore, you assume that the death of the innocent is what God desired.” This is due to an extension of the omnipotence paradox. If your god is omnipotent, then nothing can occur that he does not will into existence(a). Thus, everything willed into existence is by his will(b). Thus, if innocent children die from heart disease, it is because he willed it(c). In set theory, this is called a transitive relationship.
4. “If mom tells you to clean your room but doesn’t force you and you don’t clean it, it doesn’t mean she did not have the power or the will to force you to do so. Her will allowed it but it is not what she wished.” This is a logical fallacy known as a false equivalence. Mom is not equivalent to an omnipotent being. Nor did Mom create the physical laws. Though a good mother is a wonderful thing, it is unlikely that mother is omniscient.
5. “When man sinned the world fell from perfection and as a result sickness and evil entered the world.” Without a specific example of the sin, it is hard to examine this. We could assume the gentleman is referring to Eve eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge, at the behest of a talking lizard. That, is patently absurd. It is clearly demonstrated that lizards are incapable of speaking in Aramaic, Greek, Latin, or English. The world can also not fall from perfection. Being suspended in the vacuum of space as a residual byproduct of accretion, the world can not simply fall due to the consumption of any particular produce. Sickness and evil likewise do not manifest from fruits or vegetables. Typically, the opposite is true. We recommend eating a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables daily.
6. “God did not desire this but his will allowed it.” Please see the explanation to #3.
7. “God could have prevented every act to move into the fall but then we would not have free will and would instead be robots.” Again, see explanation 3. If we exist because your omnipotent god willed it, then logically, all subsequent actions are already conceived by this being. Nothing is, was, or could be, without this being having a complete knowledge. It only appears to be free will, because your simplified belief is not paired with a thorough understanding of the structure of your reality. Reconciliation will yield failure in your argument. Secondly, the removal of free will does not transform someone into a synthetic automaton. In no condition has a sleeping human, slave, coma patient, or hypnotized individual ever been magically reshaped into a robot, yet none of them have free will.
8. “His desire is not for obedient perfect robots but for people to freely choose him so he must allow for the possibility of evil to enter for this to happen.” You presume to know the desires of an omnipotent being? Your arguments are wrought with fallacies, your ability to conceptualize mathematics is limited. It is unlikely that such an individual would be able to know the desires of a god. Likewise…see explanation #3.
9. “When you say that “their intervention could fulfill any grand Utopian ideal instantly” you assume that happiness is God’s greatest wish for us. It isn’t. A dog is happy being disobedient and ripping apart the couch every night but it’s owners wish is not for him to be happy but for him to be good, and as a bonus the dog will also be happy.” If our happiness is subject to the obedience of a god who willfully allows innocent children to die (see #3), most of us would proudly declare our disloyalty. We would be, as it was so eloquently stated, “ripping apart the couch every night.”
This is a perfect example of the necessity of Oracles. We do not fear your archaic definitions of gods. Your perspective is limited. Your knowledge is impaired. Your arguments are simplistic. This post was not made with the intent to convert or argue with this individual. The post was made to exemplify how knowledge evolves our perspective of God(s).
It is whimsy to assume that an omnipotent being is persuaded or even casually interested in the obedience of one species, on one planet, in one solar system, in one galaxy, in one cluster, in one reality (of infinite realities).
Faith should come from a careful examination of the evidence. God should be a motivation for knowledge and exploration, not obedience. We should never explain away the suffering or needless death of the innocent. Our scientific shortcoming are OUR fault. Particularly, as Oracles, it is our responsibility more than most to solve these problems.
Likewise, our achievements do not arbitrarily belong to a random deity. They belong to the individual.
We should not aspire to obey a god. Though there is hope that more will join our ranks, those who disagree are more than welcome to continue worship as they’d like.
There are three types of people. Those who deny the existence of gods, those who worship gods, and those who become them. Please, beardeddisciple, continue your worship.