In using terms like “think” and “believe”, even novice debaters know that those terms are used to assert a way in which we perceive something. If I say that “I believe there is a country called Japan”, this is not some wild assertion just because I have said that I believe it. I have good evidence to back up the claim. Not only do I know that Japan is a country, but I believe it because I know it.
You ignore chaos theory (the butterfly effect) in your assertion that an all-loving god “could not” do something you deem to be terrible. You have no way of knowing if one child’s death might save millions of children hundreds of years later. As I have already stated, your definition of “barbarism” is subjective itself. You are playing god by trying to apply your own ideas of right and wrong (which frankly are no more relevant than a sadist’s) to God. From an atheistic viewpoint, these children who would die are just biological matter anyway, similar to any other kind of biological matter you might find in a garden.
Any value you might place on such children, is simply the result of social conditioning and chemical reactions in the brain you might call ‘empathy’. In reality though, the dying child is of no value.
“If you think its good for your god to order so”
You’re again appealing to my own subjective morality, which I have not appealed to.
Your reasoning is as follows
I believe it to be good -—> it was good when God did it
When the logical reason that would follow from a situation in which God actually existed is as follows
God did it -—> it was good because God did it, even if the goodness is not apparent to me as a finite, non-transcendent being.
You then go on to the old attacks on the historicity of these accounts. Why would God wish me to trust in the Gospels, instead of appearing to me at night in a flowing robe and saying “see, I exist”. Well, there would be no point to my life here on earth if this was the case, unless I was some kind of prophet. Why wouldn’t God just create me in Heaven, and give me the same awareness of Him?
This is you, again, trying to make out that you could understand the workings of a mind that transcended space and time. “why didn’t God do this?” “why didn’t God do that?”. I used the example before of a bug staring in at a mathematician, trying to figure out why he draws a line instead of a circle. Even if the bug were capable of coherent thought, it would be impossible for him to comprehend anything that the mathematician was doing. Your relationship to God would be similar.
Have you ever trusted anything you have heard? How many experiments described in textbooks have you carried out yourself? You trust that people who write these things (however fantastic some seem) are being honest. Look at history. The vast majority of historical knowledge we have comes from accounts. We haven’t gone back in time to see exactly which day Ceaser died, but we take the accounts of his death on good faith.
Don’t take my word for it though. Let’s consult the experts in the field of which we’re talking about. There is no physical evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed. I can’t show you his body, nor can I present a video or a photograph of him at the beach. Despite this however, the vast majority of historians today, of all faiths and backgrounds, will tell you that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person. Granted, a small minority of historians deny his existence, but a small minority of historians also deny the Holocaust.
If you want to argue that they’ve got it all wrong, and that we cannot believe anybody existed unless we have scientifically measurable confirmation of their existence because the source might be “corrupt”, then that’s okay, but I don’t think it carries much weight intellectually. Is it possible that Jesus was simply a legend, that his followers lied, or that his followers themselves were imaginary? I guess. But this doesn’t seem like a very likely conclusion.
“Your faith is a subjective choice, more to do with the randomness of the things that defined your geography and history than with any objective reasoning on your part”
And your lack of belief was not shaped at all by these things? None of the atheistic influences you may have had would have failed to reach you had you grown up somewhere else? Tough to believe to say the least.
Bingo. I have a relative who is Jewish and will not go to Germany because of the holocaust, also, he doesn't believe in God because why would God allow such a thing to happen? Well, what if the appx. 6 million deaths from the holocaust allowed billions of other lives to exist?
I have a couple of kittehs who are incredibly intelligent (for a cat or Democrat) but us understanding an infinite God whose perception of time we will never understand in this lifetime much like my cats will never understand something like the TV remote. Time for us is linear, I'm sure everyone would like to go back in time to correct a mistake but it isn't happening, for us time goes one way. Now, I don't know how God experiences time or whether time even exists for him and with our linear version of time, we'll never know how God sees time until we see him.
We know he can look forward to future events but much like the character Paul Atredes in the book Dune, he can see time and it is a curse for him because he knows how everything is going to happen, no surprises. Even after he's blinded in the 2nd book, he still walks and acts like he can see because he sees the future which makes me think that God, if he chooses can see every single event that will happen but I think he only looks at the big picture because I think he would like to be surprised. Incidentally, I didn't come up with this idea, Frank Herbert who wrote the Dune series did.
Otherwise, why doesn't God call in all our markers and move on to the thousand year reign of Christ?