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  #1    
Old August 17th, 2012 (10:32 PM).
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Hey guys! When argueing with Atheists the Theodizee question comes up, roughly it asks: "If God exists, why does our world suck so much." A part of my personal answer is "Because the world we have is the best we could get for a free will." The strength of this answer stands up to discussion.

And we will do it the following way. Image you've got an allmighty genie (or God, if you want to), who grants you one free wish. You don't use it for yourself but try to make the world a better place. As always, the Genie is tricky and will do exactly what you asked him for.

Your task is to come up with a wish that realisation would lead to better world even in the worst-case scenario. Hence two things are very important: Not to get to a negative Utopia (called Dystopia, but I prefer to use Utopia for both, because...) nor to loose the free will (... because that would lead to a positive Utopia, which is still negative in some way).
Don't forget to describe the consequences.

If your imagination seems to be too positive for me, I'll play the role of the genie and describe how your wish would change the world to the worse (from my point of view; I have a statement to verify you know).

Three examples:

"Make the problems in the world disappear." – The world disappears, everyone dead.
(You see, your wish has to be somewhat constructive.)

"Make everyone happy." – Common Utopia, all people are happy, very creepy, how can that work out with free will? If I can murder another person, if his/her parents would be still happy after seeing it, that doesn't sound like free will for them. If I can't do it (not because I wouldn't be able morally but because I can't physically do it) I have no free will after all. And until someone is alive, he will always find a physical possibility to murder someone unless some unseen force stops him or he can't think the thought, which would be equal to the loss of free will.

"The ground is lava.People can fly at considerable speed." (Something more creative) – Much more wars.
(The US Army tried to create flying soldiers once and stopped not because they weren't able to do it but because their jetpacks were too loud to use it effectly.)

So, please try to come up with some scenarios :D
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Old August 18th, 2012 (12:43 PM).
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The thing is, God allows this to happen because we sinned. If we were all to listen to him, this world would be exactly perfect (not the happy perfect we come up with) and there would be no point for a wish.

So my wish is that people all truly looked up to a Higher Power, whether that is God, Jesus, Allah, many deities, or none at all. None of that "my god told me to do this" crap. True communion to the Lord Above, whoever you think it is (or is not).

No consequences! Though it will be hard on a personal level - that's what God intends.
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Old August 18th, 2012 (01:05 PM).
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Wait why can't we get rid of free will?
There is nothing free about free will, we are dictated by our surroundings, and subconscious. Free will is just an allusion to make people feel better about their meek existence.

I would wish for a world with invisable, and perfect justice. That strikes the moment someone leaves the path of righteousness. If that happened everyone will become righteous, and there would be no evil, no arguments, just a perfect humanity.
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Old August 18th, 2012 (01:16 PM).
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I'd wish that everyone on Earth had all the basics for survival: food, water, shelter, medicine, etc. Rather, I'd wish that all this stuff was readily available anywhere so that no one would be able to steal it all and keep it from people to be able to have power over them.

You won't get closer to a perfect world while people have reasons to fight. Start with the basic things and move from there.
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Old August 19th, 2012 (05:22 PM).
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Quote originally posted by droomph:
The thing is, God allows this to happen because we sinned. If we were all to listen to him, this world would be exactly perfect (not the happy perfect we come up with) and there would be no point for a wish.

So my wish is that people all truly looked up to a Higher Power, whether that is God, Jesus, Allah, many deities, or none at all. None of that "my god told me to do this" crap. True communion to the Lord Above, whoever you think it is (or is not).

No consequences! Though it will be hard on a personal level - that's what God intends.
Hm. Your logic is "God allows this to happen because we sinned," yes? I beg to argue. If God was such a malevolent god, he might as well burn the world to the ground, make it rain all day long, and give Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black a world tour concert together. >.> Seriously? I believe that nothing just happens. Because if we're just moping around about original sin, what's the point of living anyway. But then again, with your malevolent god theory, suicide will burn you in hell anyway. Just my two cents.
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Old September 6th, 2012 (08:25 AM).
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There can't be a 'perfect' world made from man because mankind itself is not perfect. We just try to do the best we can, you'll just have to accept that.



This video was made for this topic, literally. Watch it.
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Old September 6th, 2012 (11:27 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Livewire:
There can't be a 'perfect' world made from man because mankind itself is not perfect. We just try to do the best we can, you'll just have to accept that.
But the world has been getting better, on average, over time, wouldn't you say? Doesn't that imply that we're moving toward something perfect and then by extension that, like approaching infinity in mathematics, we can get close enough to perfection that we may as well call it perfect?
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Old September 16th, 2012 (11:12 AM).
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The closest Utopia I have ever read about was described in "Brave New World". In my opinion, a Utopia doesn't have to be something that we see as something "ideal". A Utopia is a working system.

In Brave New World (BNW), there were only very few individuals against the system. Only because a few are against the system, that doesn't mean the system is bad.
For us, BNW seems like a kind of Distopia. But for the avergae citizen in BNW, it's a perfect working system.

A Utopia isn't possible with individuals. A real "Utopia" is only possible(!) in communism or a dictatorship. Everyone is the same and happy about it. Or one single individual takes the lead and everyone is proud to obey.

That's why a Utopia will never exist
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Old September 16th, 2012 (11:14 AM).
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One without humanity. People just naturally gravitate towards what makes a dystopia - greed and power.
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Old September 16th, 2012 (04:49 PM).
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I'd ask for time travel as a wish, including the ability to not age. I wouldn't do it to stop tragedies, or to save anyone but I would do it to watch, and see if there is a future where we do reach the perfect world (we are slowly getting there, I mean look around, read the news, the world is much more tame and eventually we will get there)

Then when I see it arriving I will go back in time and prevent myself from finding the genie (There will be 2 of me, one who time travels and one who doesn't) so that he may live his own life. (I will be satisfied with seeing the perfect world, though I still want "myself" to live a life)

Or I'd wish for the monster like from Watchmen (that was fake) to publicly slay an entire city. Then maybe we can scare humans into peace. Though, how long would it last?
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Old September 17th, 2012 (02:23 AM).
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Whose city? Your own?

A utopia is impossible with individual free will as has been said. A true utopia is what most consider a dystopia, an ant hill. Everyone has an equally important function, everyone will happily live or die for the colony and only for the colony. In turn everyone has just enough resources to survive and there is no greed amongst individuals leading to true equality. There may be a "queen" but the queen doesn't rule, she just serves the colony as a breeder.

So if I had a wish like that I'd wish that it was possible for us to have a utopia that allowed us to remain the individuals we are, rather for a utopia itself.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (04:42 AM).
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Lol my city is way to small, if you mean I should die with it then yeah it should go in the populated area. If it was my city there wouldn't be nearly enough casualties and the government would pass it off as a "natural disaster"
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Old September 17th, 2012 (06:07 AM).
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I'd never say that someone should die, just pointing out that it is easy to say something like that if your not prepared to give your own life for the cause haha.

But really, you can't scare a world into peace and if you do you're not creating a utopia you are creating a fragile dystopia where nobody can do anything or even express their views for fear of everyone they know and many others being killed. Whilst that may seem hypocritical after my own post there is a difference between single minded autonomy and ruling through fear. You certainly brought up an interesting idea though
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Old September 17th, 2012 (06:27 AM).
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Since I'm wishing for the impossible, I would wish that humans' basic personality did not involve violence and was more honest. The choice could still be made to do violence, of course. But for example, I am not a violent person. I can choose to do violence, but because I'm not a violent person it would have to be something that pushed me beyond what I was willing to take before it would become an option for me. Same with lying - while a person would have the option to lie if it became necessary, the default should be honesty. With all of us having personalities that tended towards non-violence, honesty, and peace, the world would be much closer to perfect.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (06:36 AM).
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Well what if there was peace by mutual destruction, it worked with Russia n the U.S. Maybe if everyone has super powers then we would just fight each other out, eventually getting bored or destroyed.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (06:40 AM).
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That's not peace. That's war. I'm sure you know the difference, lol.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (07:20 AM).
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What if everyone is happy with it though, wouldn't it be peaceful? What if one of the powers were invulnerability, then nobody could die and we would just fight all we want. I mean peace is just were everyone is happy right? What if someone doesn't want there to be no fighting, then they wouldn't be at peace. I'd add to my wish a world reset button, so that if we destroy to much I can just put the world back to what it was when I made the wish (everyone with powers and memories, just a planet that is habitable again)
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Old September 17th, 2012 (07:38 AM).
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Idk where you're getting superpowers from, I'm talking about my own argument which has nothing to do with invulnerability or flying or whatever.

Peace is where no one is violent or harming one another. Put it this way - in a world where everyone's default option is peace, instead of Russia and the US agreeing on mutual destruction, they would sit at a negotiating table and work it out with words. They wouldn't want to harm innocent people with a war, because they're non-violent, peaceful people. Like how when I disagree with people, I don't decide to go punch them even if there would be no punishment for doing so, because I wouldn't want to harm someone else in that way.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (08:05 AM).
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The superpowers symbolize everyone having completely equal powers. No leaders, no corruption, just pure anarchy. Now it is impossible to have a peaceful thought process like yours, it is just to hard. Even if everyone did, we would be just like animals- that is to say we would all be cookie cut into the same mold.

I personally am not violent, I've never been in a fight where I've hurt someone. Though I would definitely fight those who don't want peace so that the ones who do don't have to. For peace to exist there has to be violence, its the only way. From my point of view everything in nature is balanced and nothing but peace is to unnatural (I couldn't live in that world).

Peace requires violence, and sacrifice. The sacrifice itself is peace (it is a bit confusing). Think about this scenario: There is a bully in school who picks on a pacifist for being a pacifist. The bully actively beats up the pacifist every day, the other kids watch because they themselves don't want to fight. Then another boy comes up, he is also a pacifist, but he doesn't want to see this child get beat up anymore. So he fights the bully. (Assume this is after school and teachers don't care)

In the scenario the bully could care less if anyone wants peace, he finds it fun to beat up this kid. The other pacifist has two choices: remain peaceful or become violent. Either way there will be violence, but the question arises- who deserves it?

Now lets skip ahead a year, the bully has matured. He apologizes to both of the kids, and becomes friends with the one who chose to help. The bully hasn't caused any violence since and is quiet peaceful. Now this is a true story, it happened to me, I was the second pacifist. Did I want to fight? Not at all. I didn't even know the other kid, and I took a beating for him.

During those years I was bullied and made fun of, I hated school but I promised to never go to school sad, and never go home sad. I had reason to resent people entirely, I could care less for people. But I thought to myself (and I still do) I can take a life without peace, someone else deserves it.

A wish for the change of human nature is just the same as the mutual nuke thing. Through some magic you are repressing or resenting nature. Peace is something we don't have to wish for, it's something we have to give.
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Old September 17th, 2012 (07:36 PM).
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Quote originally posted by zephyr6257:
Hm. Your logic is "God allows this to happen because we sinned," yes? I beg to argue. If God was such a malevolent god, he might as well burn the world to the ground, make it rain all day long, and give Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black a world tour concert together. >.> Seriously? I believe that nothing just happens. Because if we're just moping around about original sin, what's the point of living anyway. But then again, with your malevolent god theory, suicide will burn you in hell anyway. Just my two cents.
I wanted to read all of the replies first, but I thought I'd jump in on this real quick.

Quote:
Because if we're just moping around about original sin, what's the point of living anyway. But then again, with your malevolent god theory, suicide will burn you in hell anyway. Just my two cents.
In the walk of Christianity, the "point of living" is to: A ) worship God, and B ) have an ultimate goal of heaven.

God gave us free will because though He may be to many people a "genie", He is also a man. We were created in his image. Thus, he has a human side to Him. He doesn't sin like us; however, because He is all-knowing. Therefore, He just gets it that sin is bad. Why be a bad dude when you can be an awesome God? =P

Foremost, in reply to "he might as well burn the world to the ground, make it rain all day long": He already flooded the earth because he was ashamed of what man had come to in sin. He promised never to flood the earth again, you've all probably heard. PERSONAL OPINION: this is probably when God decided to create the grand master plan that is the rest of the Bible's prophecies as far as Jesus Christ, His gospel, and the entire book of Revelations. He hasn't burned the planet down yet, but He will. After its all said and done He will destroy the earth entirely and create a new earth for us to live in.

NOW
For the one wish for a utopia thing question...
"I wish man never sinned".

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Old September 17th, 2012 (08:02 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Khawill:
The superpowers symbolize everyone having completely equal powers. No leaders, no corruption, just pure anarchy. Now it is impossible to have a peaceful thought process like yours, it is just to hard. Even if everyone did, we would be just like animals- that is to say we would all be cookie cut into the same mold.

I personally am not violent, I've never been in a fight where I've hurt someone. Though I would definitely fight those who don't want peace so that the ones who do don't have to. For peace to exist there has to be violence, its the only way. From my point of view everything in nature is balanced and nothing but peace is to unnatural (I couldn't live in that world).

Peace requires violence, and sacrifice. The sacrifice itself is peace (it is a bit confusing). Think about this scenario: There is a bully in school who picks on a pacifist for being a pacifist. The bully actively beats up the pacifist every day, the other kids watch because they themselves don't want to fight. Then another boy comes up, he is also a pacifist, but he doesn't want to see this child get beat up anymore. So he fights the bully. (Assume this is after school and teachers don't care)

In the scenario the bully could care less if anyone wants peace, he finds it fun to beat up this kid. The other pacifist has two choices: remain peaceful or become violent. Either way there will be violence, but the question arises- who deserves it?

Now lets skip ahead a year, the bully has matured. He apologizes to both of the kids, and becomes friends with the one who chose to help. The bully hasn't caused any violence since and is quiet peaceful. Now this is a true story, it happened to me, I was the second pacifist. Did I want to fight? Not at all. I didn't even know the other kid, and I took a beating for him.

During those years I was bullied and made fun of, I hated school but I promised to never go to school sad, and never go home sad. I had reason to resent people entirely, I could care less for people. But I thought to myself (and I still do) I can take a life without peace, someone else deserves it.

A wish for the change of human nature is just the same as the mutual nuke thing. Through some magic you are repressing or resenting nature. Peace is something we don't have to wish for, it's something we have to give.
In a world that isn't changed by an all-powerful, wish-granting genie violence is required to obtain peace.
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Old September 26th, 2012 (08:33 PM). Edited September 26th, 2012 by droomph.
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:
In a world that isn't changed by an all-powerful, wish-granting genie violence is required to obtain peace.
Conflict is the basis of the perfect world, but sometimes conflict is just unnecessary.

Conflict is what gives us a reason to live, but sometimes it's a reason for us to die.

Quote originally posted by zephyr6257:
Hm. Your logic is "God allows this to happen because we sinned," yes? I beg to argue. If God was such a malevolent god, he might as well burn the world to the ground, make it rain all day long, and give Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black a world tour concert together. >.> Seriously? I believe that nothing just happens. Because if we're just moping around about original sin, what's the point of living anyway. But then again, with your malevolent god theory, suicide will burn you in hell anyway. Just my two cents.
He loves a good entertaining show. That's why he created us and saw that we would fall away from him and not do anything (absolute) to save us. That's why he didn't destroy Satan and Hell.

Life's a movie, and we're actors.
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Old September 30th, 2012 (03:09 AM).
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I wouldn't change anything about this world, because if everything was good in the world, would we really appreciate anything? Would Heaven be anything to strive for?
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Old October 15th, 2012 (12:44 PM).
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You can't have a true 'utopia' as long as human beings act the way they do. People have been trying to do this as long as we've had civilization.
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