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The Problem of Evil

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by dhh712, Mar 19, 2014.

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  1. Chany

    Chany Uncertain Absurdist

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    The problem of evil is that an all-loving and all-powerful God would not allow evil to exist. Because evil exists, God is either, not all-loving, not all-powerful, not both, or not real. The person who believes in an all-loving and all-powerful God must either reconcile this differences by explaining something not considered or reject the notion of an all-powerful and all-loving God.

    I don't get how this is a response to the above post.
     
  2. Loudmouth

    Loudmouth Contributor

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    If an architect built a house that he knew would lead to the untimely death of children even though the architect could have easily made the house safe for children, is that architect a moral person?
     
  3. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    I think you miss the point then. Show me an example of something created where you can make such far reaching conclusions about its creator, and I will renounce what I said.
     
  4. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Thanks for quoting Epicurus, but his premises are wrong. I reiterate, find a created thing where I can accurately construt the nature of its creator from it, and then I will lend any credibility at all to the conclusion that the existence of evil impugns the Creator.


    Further, if I make a cake (i.e. creation) and one of its ingredients are gross such as baking soda (i.e. evil) and a bunch of other ingredients are mixed in and thrown in an oven at 350 degrees (life's trials), but what is the finished result? A properly baked cake. What does it reflect about the baker? Not that the creator is baking soda, but the baker wanted to please someone with the cake or some other motivation.

    Materialists are presupposing that the existence of evil as an ingredient in creation has any tie whatsoever to the Creator, which is completely irrational and demands a God's-eye view where we don't know what purposes much of this evil ultimately serves.

    I lost my business and almost lost my wife. And you know what? It was worth it. Without the evil, my life would be worse today. However, if I was ignorant and thought that when the evil events were occurring that this necessarily meant God had to be deficient in some way, I would have made an incorrect assumption based upon incomplete information, not knowing my whole life would be better months later.
     
  5. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    Again, bad premises in this argument. You made the mistake of impugning the motives of the architect, which already presupposes the answer of the question.

    More accurately, the question should be asked that an architect designs a house and the house collapses and kills the family, was the architect moral.

    Well, was he? Maybe he was, maybe the family demanded a cutting-edge design that was not properly tested. Or, maybe the family and architect were innocent, and the building contractors cheaped out on something. Maybe, a mistake was made in manufacturing that made a defective beam and it collapsed.

    Wow, all of the sudden that cut and dry example became a lot more complicated.

    So again, the burden of proof is on those that would say something created reflects upon the creator. Until this can be demonstrated at all, your whole point is useless.The fact you have to resort to "there was an evil architect, he purposely made a real crappy house, the house killed people, was the architect good?" shows that you don't even understand this point.
     
  6. Chany

    Chany Uncertain Absurdist

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    You're treating all created things equal. There is a difference between rocks and people.

    It's not that evil makes God evil. It's that a being who supposedly loves us and can do anything allows evil to exist when it serves no purpose that an all-powerful being could not do itself.

    Even then, let's assume that there is a level of necessary evil that is needed to teach us things. That still would not explain gratuitous evil. If a fire happens in the middle of the forest and a faun burns to death in agony without any human being aware of its demise, what purpose does it serve?
     
  7. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    First, you did not give an exmaple of something created reflecting on the creator accurately. This burden of proof must be fulfilled or there is nothing to your point.

    Knowing whether it fulfills a purpose or not requires knowledge of the future, which is ridiculous.

    Again, you would require perfect knowledge of the future, which you do not have, so you cannot substantiate any claim that it is without purpose.

    So, I cannot answer your question, but I can say with some confidence that without all those dinosaurs dying out, which was not exactly great for them, it worked out for the better.

    Lastly, even if you can demonstrate that a certain event made life for humankind worse in some way, the fallacy in your reasoning would be that this even matters. If man is the reason all of existence exists, then it would, but without a man-centered universe I don't see how human evil impugns the Creator. The universe is so large, it appears fairly obvious we are not the center of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  8. Chany

    Chany Uncertain Absurdist

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    How something behaves and interact with the world tells us about its nature. This is absurd to assume otherwise. A creator who watches his creation suffer says a lot about the nature of the creator. If you love something and if you have the power to do anything, there is no reason why that thing should be continue to suffer. If I have to the power to stop a person from dying in a fire and care about that person, I would save that person, unless some really good reason compelled me otherwise.

    From this we can draw five possibilities:

    1) The being is all-loving and wants to help, but lacks the ability to do so.

    2) The being has the ability to do so but lacks the compassion to care, meaning it is not all loving.

    3) The being has neither, and is not really nothing more than any other being.

    4) Such a being does not exist at all.

    5) The being has a compelling reason to allow evil.

    The problem with 5) is this:

    For what reason can evil possibly exist that an all-powerful being could not do through its own power?

    The problem of evil is not an affirmative statement, it is a counter reply to an affirmative statement: that there exists an all-powerful and all-loving creator. The burden of proof does not fall on me to come up with a reason and an answer to my own question regarding five; it falls upon the person making the claim that there is a reason.

    Even taken on face value, the person who affirms that something exists must exhibit it exists. The person who does not affirm its existence does not have to prove a negative, as it is impossible. Its like asking me to prove that there is an invisible tea cup circling the sun: yes, I can't prove that it doesn't exist, but I have no reason to believe it and a bunch of reasons not to.

    On an aside, two of your claims cannot be held mutually exclusive: that God is anthrocentric towards humans and killed off the dinosaurs, and that God is not anthrocentric towards humans and does not care about us in the vast reaches of the universe.

    Likewise, the second claim does not hold for an all-loving God, who loves everything equally.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  9. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    6) There is a god, but he is evil.
     
  10. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    1. Not in its entirety and 2. You still need to have an example that proves your point. Still waiting...

    However, with perfect knowledge of the future, you might know why it would be better not save that person.

    Actually, you can't because you still have not proved your premise that the creation gives us perfect knowledge of the Creator. Still waiting for a single example.

    Actually, it does. You have to demonstrate that there is even a problem to begin with and how that problem is the creators fault. Still waiting...

    On both counts your paradigm is inapplicable. First, you presume the creation is part of the creator's purposes. If I bake a cake to feed someone, by purpose is to feed the person. But, the cake is the creation. So, if creation has all of this stuff, I cannot make presumptions about the nature and purposes of the Creator based upon components in the existence. It's illogical.

    Further, Christians believe God made creation to glorify His name and to express His love. On both counts, He is the decision maker of how He goes about glorifying Himself and showing a love that is His, and not ours.

    However, I don't even need to defend that point, because you still have not demonstrated how the creation reflects the nature of the Creator.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  11. Chany

    Chany Uncertain Absurdist

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    I include that under 2).
     
  12. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

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    So, it appears we have solved the problem...
     
  13. PsychoSarah

    PsychoSarah Chaotic Neutral

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    Not exactly...
     
  14. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

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    The problem exists because God is supposedly all knowing and all powerful, whereas an architect is not (nor would there be a building contractor to scapegoat since God in charge of everything, knows everything in advance and has the power to change any given state of affairs). So if God is willing to prevent evil but unable, then he is not all powerful. If he's able but not willing, then he is malevolent. If he's able and willing, then why do we still have evil (the "problem")? If he's neither able nor willing them why call him God? This dates back to Epicurous.
     
  15. PsychoSarah

    PsychoSarah Chaotic Neutral

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    Well, I don't like to put it in those terms, but that is pretty much the problem. Although, I wouldn't say that being able to prevent evil and choosing not to necessarily makes for malevolence, although it prevents said being from being 100% benevolent
     
  16. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

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    Why's that?
     
  17. PsychoSarah

    PsychoSarah Chaotic Neutral

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    A deity could be overall neutral. In fact, I think that matches up better, because if that being was malevolent and had power, wouldn't it actively try to make the world worse? Inaction suggests a lack of motivation to act, but malevolence is just as much motivation as benevolence would be.
     
  18. Chany

    Chany Uncertain Absurdist

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    No, not really.
     
  19. poolerboy0077

    poolerboy0077 Well-Known Member

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    But inaction is callous. Making it worse might be more malevolent, but inaction is still bad -- either negligent or reckless. Moreover, inaction doesn't even make sense when dealing with a deity who's supposedly omniscient because he would know prior to creation that bad things would happen yet went with it anyway. It's not as though we're dealing with a person who acts inside of a world he or she has no control over and no foreknowledge thereof.
     
  20. PsychoSarah

    PsychoSarah Chaotic Neutral

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    But this deity also created an afterlife, thus would not view the brief lifespan as important compared to the eternal afterlife (probably). A neutral entity might simply not care about abstract terms such as good and evil. Some people see an ant hill and squash it, others make an effort not to crush any ants, but the majorly pass by without even glancing at the ants, and this final portion is the neutral one.
     
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