Sam Harris on the Morality of God

 

via The Friendly Atheist

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5 thoughts on “Sam Harris on the Morality of God

  1. This video epitomizes my belief system; we believer and non believer take so much time to debate the suffering of this world and neglect the fact that we could end child starvation. We could provide the world with life saving vaccines because we are more than able but instead we wait on God or debate his existence and the suffering continues. Nothing can be done about natural disasters but something can be done to provide assistance to those who are effected. Relief efforts do happen but not on the scale needed, even when Katrina hit the US help didn’t get there fast enough.

    These kids are suffering because of the decisions of the leaders of their countries and the world sits around and lets these atrocities happen. Debating the issue of God what does it help? When we are able to make the difference. When we are more than able to help every child in need but rather buy thousands of iPhones per day rather then help the world’s kids. Seems like we rather use child starvation as a example of pointing to a Godless universe rather than do something about it. This is my point if you don’t believe in God, then its our fault kids die of starvation not a made up being but we still are debating rather then pushing for a solution.

    Again yes natural disasters happen and nothing can be done about them. What we can do the world doesn’t; go to unicef and check out how many kids we could save if the funding was available. Humans rule the world, we are the force that could save these kids because we were made more than able.

  2. Chance

    I really appreciate your heart and compassion for the suffering. And of course we should all do what we can to alleviate it. But there are a few things I want to point out.

    I’ve never heard you explain the suffering that isn’t caused by humans. I’d like to hear your perspective on that. Why does god cause/allow that suffering? You seem passionate about holding humans accountable for the suffering we cause but don’t seem to hold god accountable for the parts he is responsible for.

    If we focus on the fact that there is a lot of suffering that we humans could address and deal with, I’m still left with a question. Why did god set up a system where sinful, faulty humans would be allowed to cause so much pain and suffering? And didn’t he know we would fail miserably at trying to fix those problems?

    I guess my perspective is that whether we focus on the suffering we cause or the suffering that we aren’t responsible for, ultimately god (if one believes he exists) set up the whole system in the first place. I hold him accountable for his grand plan – whichever part you want to zero in on.

    “If there is a designer he must take credit for the flaws in his creation. Flaws in the creation directly reflect flaws in the creator. If there is a flaw in the creator then he cannot be all powerful.” (David Hume)

    In the video above, Sam Harris says that god might not be all-powerful, but also puts forth another possiblity. Maybe god is all-powerful but is evil and chooses to do nothing even though he can.

    • In addition to your point of how Chance blames humans for our suffering and not blaming God for creating the scenario (which I’ve also noticed):

      Chance, you’re looking at things from a very limited perspective. Let me remind you of a few things:
      As far as history is concerned, it’s only very recent that we have the ability to travel between continents safely. It’s only very recent and an ongoing process that we are figuring out what causes the illnesses we have and are capable of making vaccines. It’s only very recent that we have the ability to communicate with people around the world and even know what is going on in places other than our own.
      Mankind only recently has the capability to solve some of these problems, so who do you blame for giving us problems that weren’t able to be solved in the past?
      Stop blaming humanity for every world problem that God could have prevented. If God didn’t allow starvation and disease, then we wouldn’t have to waste our time fighting these things, so he’s as much to blame as humans are. At least we do have people actively trying to solve these problems. God could have given humans vaccines in early days or not created the infectious agent at all. He also could have created us to not need food in the first place. I’m sorry, but he shouldn’t get a free pass on that one.
      And I think it’s ridiculous that you try to make people here feel guilty for buying an iPhone as if children are starving because of that. Why do you have any possessions? If you live by that principle, you should own nothing and give it all to organizations that feed children. How about for every roll of toilet paper you buy, you could be feeding starving children?
      There are organizations out there that help with all of the problems you discuss. If we spent our lives trying to fix every world problem, we would have no life. That should be God’s job, but he has the time to personally talk to you but not keep children from starving right? Perhaps God needs to revisit his own parable of the Good Samaritan, cause he sure isn’t following it.

  3. Great video:) Chance, you made some great points – indeed, the whole iPhone thing cut me quick. As a whole, this nation (at least some) touts itself as a ‘consumer economy’, which seems to be the very anti-thesis of what you are urging. I happen to agree with you. We could do so much more to alleviate suffering. So, why don’t we? Again, you point out that we have this crazy narcissism to own ‘things’ and gadgets but also, I’d like to add, we are a distraction oriented society; “Here we are now, entertain us”. Playing games, keeping up with the Jones’s, consuming movies and yes, debating/flexing out Theist/Atheist muscles while Rome burns. So yes, great point and something that should motivate all of us individually.
    But as Brenda pointed out, why focus or put the spotlight soley on what we should be doing, when there is supposedly someone greater, more powerful and more loving than us that doesn’t lift a finger? If anything, the two are related in that most people don’t do anything because they are just following the lead on what they believe – and that, is very convenient.

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