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Nitish Panda

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Nitish Panda


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Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - 10:26 AM

How should humanist respond to a threatening, human-abusing God

If there exists a God who survives on human abuse (be it human rights abuse, trafficking etc) or human sacrifice. The God also threatens to bring about apocalypse if his/her demands are not met. What should be the attitude of a humanist in this case? Is there any existing hypothesis for this question?



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Bo Bennett, PhD
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Bo Bennett, PhD

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Print Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - 02:52 PM
I guess the same way we respond to Darth Vader or Lord Voldemort—by asserting that such a being should be seen as fictional and imaginary until proven otherwise. What we need to do is educate the people who follow such gods and do our best to stop indoctrination.
Bo Bennett, PhD
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Neil Stahl

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Neil Stahl


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Print Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - 02:15 PM
As has been mentioned, we have no convincing evidence there's any god of any kind so we should look for ways to help people who are abused or threatened and try to make the world better.

Now I'll entertain the question for which you wanted an answer: Suppose actual evidence became available a god did exist [and it would have to be extraordinary evidence given the extraordinary claim; evidence far, far stronger than any given for the existence of any of humanity's many gods]. But if such evidence did present itself and the god in question were a nasty one then people would have to decide individually how to respond to such a stupendous tragedy. My guess is that humanists by and large would resist. We don't have the background of believing in such a god that some people do and most of us would hate the idea, unlike some believers who have created perverted gods in their own perverted images and others who have adopted perverted moralities in fear of judgement by the perverted gods they've been raised to believe in.

So I'll hazard the guess a lot of humanists would tell that god what it could do with its super powers. Probably several of the more moral believers in other gods would also. But if such a god did exist you'd think we'd know about it by now. I hope you can stop worrying about this highly unlikely event. If you have been encouraged to believe in such a god by some church, Get Out of That Church!


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Nitish Panda
Monday, April 03, 2017 - 12:25:27 AM
@Neil Stahl: hi Neil! I have not been asked to believe in such god but I myself often think about scenarios wherein our values as humanists might be put to some peril and how should we respond. My view to this scenario would be to resist the God by protecting the abused (after all, that's the right thing to do) and find ways to outflank that God. Even if there was such a God, I would advocate that we should hold fast to our ethics. It is similar to doing what is right without caring for afterlife (suppose if it is found to exist). What do you think?

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Neil Stahl
Sunday, May 28, 2017 - 08:07:30 AM
Nitish I think that's an appropriate response whether whatever made itself known to you was actually a badly digested chunk of food (a la Scrooge), a psychological problem, an alien invasion force posing as a god or (least likely by far) an actual supernatural entity. Or of course the imagined god of a locally powerful religion.

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Nitish Panda
Sunday, April 02, 2017 - 12:57:35 AM
@Bo Bennett, PhD: If, by any means, such god is proven to exist then what should be done ?

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Sunday, April 02, 2017 - 06:52:11 AM
It depends what we knew about this god. If such a celestial dictator existed, we are no match for it. But an eternity in hell or an eternity serving such a master... well, we are screwed either way.

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Nitish Panda
Monday, April 03, 2017 - 12:26:58 AM
@Bo Bennett, PhD: In the end what matters to us is how will things works best for all living beings irrespective of what the cruel God does, right?

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Monday, April 03, 2017 - 06:52:57 AM
@Nitish Panda: IF there really was eternal paradise and IF there was a god who appeared cruel to us and IF this god knew more than we did so that the "cruelness" led to an ultimate good, then perhaps this god knows best what is better for all living beings than I do. Once you bring magic and gods into the equation with weak support, anything goes and cruelty turns into the best possible action. This is why we need to keep magic and gods out of the equation.

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Nitish Panda
Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 12:15:16 PM
@Bo Bennett, PhD: So what should I do as a budding science lover and humanist in case such kind of thought provoking scenarios comes to my mind? Should I ignore such kind of irrational thoughts?

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 12:23:27 PM
@Nitish Panda: Entertain the thoughts... why not? Just remember that there is no evidence for such universal magic and it is nothing more than a thought experiment. When you return to reality, continue to focus on what we know is best for humanity without magical and hypothetical "what ifs" that make good, evil, and make wrong, right.

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