Not a difficult question – not one that is going to have a great variety of answers if you poll the people of the world. They will say, of course it is bad. The only exceptions are likely to be psychopaths.
It is by definition bad but we can also easily demonstrate a ripple of bad effects on ALL of the people involved, from the parents, to the people on the tram. And these are effects which are objectively measurable by scientists.
Nope! Giving a different answer simply because of a prejudice against a name would be bad. But I suppose what you are really going for is turning back time to when these historical people were children, and then appealing to some kind of utilitarian consequentialist ethics by imagining that a lot of people would not have died because history took a different path. But not only am I a virtue ethicist and quite opposed to utilitarianism and consequentialism, but very much doubt that killing these children would create a better world, the result is not independent of the means. By such acts, you are creating a world where even more children are killed for the reasons of fear and expedience, which is not a better world. Furthermore, the implication is that the world you imagine is nothing but a video tape to be rewound to some earlier portion with all the rest remaining the same – but what happens in a video tape is not real. In the real world, what a child does in the future is not recorded in some unalterable thing. The child is simply a child and the future doesn’t exist except as a superposition of possibilities.
Seems obvious to me that God created life precisely so that He would not know everything that is going to happen – that is kind of the whole point of it. And it is obvious to me from scripture that the evil of mankind was a surprise to God.
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
If God is so sorry that he made man that he decides to blot them out, then how does that agree with shot’s belief in a God who knew everything which is going to happen at the beginning? Did God see that people were going to be so bad and liked it so He would have the enjoyment of killing them all? Sounds like a psychopath to me. So no, I do not agree with this interpretation.
Incorrect. The modern science view includes quantum physics where things exist in a superposition of possibilities. So while a lot of the laws of nature are time reversible, it isn’t the case that all of the laws of nature are time reversible and physical determinism is quite dead. The future is not written simply because some people choose to imagine it to be so.
Only by those who choose to take responsibility for their own lives. For others it probably better for them not to believe in God at all – the belief in God is not a good thing for them.
I think so too, but certainly not for the same reasons.
This is not a big problem for those who do not believe we are a product of design, which is frankly incompatible with the nature of life itself. Life is a phenomenon of self-organization - a product of growth and learning not design. We are not what somebody else made us to be, but what we made ourselves to be.
But I think a big part of the problem here is understanding what sin actually is. The understanding of sin that usually goes along with the ideas of creation by design and morality derived from authoritarian dictation is that sin is simply disobedience. But an understanding of sin that goes better with ideas of evolution and morality derived from reasons, is that sin consists of self-destructive habits – e.g. destructive of our potential, destructive of our ability to learn, destructive of our ability to love, destructive of our awareness, and destructive of our freedom of will. So the problem isn’t that God made us weak to resist sin, but that SIN makes us weak to resist sin.
Looking over other parts of Shot’s post points to extremely different origins. He, unlike myself, is obviously someone raised Christian or dominated by that way of thinking. He takes completely for granted such things as the Trinity, that calling Christ a liar is such a bad thing, and the reality of miracles performed in his name. I was certainly not raised Christian but by extremely liberal parents and my approach to truth was, of course, science first, then maybe philosophy, then finally let’s see if there is anything of value in this religious junk. I ended up converted to Christianity, though I questioned and tested every little piece of it with reason and logic and still I am Trinitarian and non-universalist. But I never took any of those things for granted so I am highly unlikely to argue for the goodness of God with those as my starting point.