The Instigator
charlie.cooke
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Does the presence of evil in our world contradict the possible existence of a God as we know it?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 511 times Debate No: 67599
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

charlie.cooke

Pro

I argue that the existence of evil in a select minority of the human population disproves the theory of a God. I argue this mainly due to the claims made by Christians, amongst other religious followers, that God is an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscience being; how at least one of the qualities listed above must be false because of this; and how this would, in turn, mean the bible contains false information and therefore disprove the idea of a God as we know it.

For reference, I am defining evil as "profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity,"; an immoral action performed by a human being to cause harm or suffering to another. My opponent will either accept or reject this definition in this round to continue with the debate.

The structure of the debate is as follows:

Round 1
My opponent will either accept or reject the definition of evil provided in this article. Should it be rejected, the debate will be stopped and the result called a draw. Should it be accepted, he will then present his initial argument against my claim, which should provide hard evidence and address every point made in the previous claim.

Round 2
I will then address your initial argument, and provide a second argument supporting my claim. My opponent will then respond to the points made in my post, and provide his second argument.

Round 3
Each participant will conclude their argument, and make any other points they would like to, taking care to keep on topic, and to ensure that their claims are justified and backed up with evidence. The debate will then end.

The Claim
To begin my argument, I will provide a quote from Greek philosopher Epicurus:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

It is worth noting that it is assumed that evil does exist in our world, which for the sake of the debate will remain fact.

What Epicurus is saying is that the claimed qualities of God being an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving deity directly contradict the presence of evil in a minority of human beings; if God is omnipotent, he can stop evil. If he is omniscience, he knows evil, and knows anywhere it occurs, and the severity of its occurrence. And if he is omnibenevolent, then he would not want evil to occur.

So we have a deity who has the knowledge of evil, but who despite having the power to stop it, allows evil to be present? Does this not contradict the all-lovingness of God, whom, should he really be omnibenevolent, would not allow such an occurrence? Or does he not have the power to do so? In that case, he is not as he is described in the bible. And if he is, then he must not be all-knowing - again contradicting his description in the bible.

My argument for this round, which my opponent will challenge in the next, is that:

God must be either not omnipotent, omniscience, or omnibenevolent, due to the points made above.
1Credo

Con

1. Acceptance

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I look forward to a good discussion!

2. Burden of Proof

My opponent will be responsible for shouldering the burden of proof in this debate. In order to win the debate, he must provide justification for thinking that there is some sort of logical contradiction between the existence of evil in our world and the existence of God. Until such justification is provided, the burden of proof has not been met.

3. Definition of Evil

My opponent has defined evil as "profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity; an immoral action performed by a human being to cause harm or suffering to another". I accept this definition as it stands without any hidden assumptions.

4. Argument

As my opponent has taken the "Pro" side in this debate, I assume that the discussion will mainly consist of an argument he proposes (i.e. the problem of evil) and my response to that argument. However, the structure of the debate entails that I must wait until the second round to respond to this argument.

I don't have an argument to make against my opponent's claim, as I don't have any burden of proof to fulfill. Rather, I will attempt (in the next round) to defeat my opponent's argument for the assertion he has made.

5. Summary

In keeping with the rules of the debate, I will wait until the next round to respond to my opponent's argument. I'll note, however, that in order to fulfill his burden of proof, my opponent is responsible for showing that there is a logical contradiction between (1) the existence of God and (2) the existence of evil. Unless it is shown that there is a logical contradiction between (1) and (2) as stated, my opponent loses the debate.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
charlie.cooke

Pro

In accordance to my opponent's previous post, I will now attempt to provide a logical explanation for why the presence of evil in humans directly disproves the possible existence of a God, or at least a God as we know it.

To begin we must establish who God is. God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, whom is an omnibenevolent (all-loving), omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipresent (ever-present) deity.

These attributes equate to the following. Omnibenevolence refers to the doctrine of a perfect and morally good God. In short, God loves us and wants the best for us. Being perfectly good must entail being good in all ways at all times and towards all other beings.

Omnipotence means God has the power to do anything, anywhere - there is nothing he cannot do. He is the ultimate, the supreme being, and as creator of this universe, has complete and unlimited control over it.

Omniscience is the capacity to have knowledge of everything there is to know, anywhere, at any time. God knows all, and nothing is not known by God.

Finally, omnipresence is the property of being everywhere, all the time. God has a divine ability to exist everywhere in the universe infinitely, and at the same time.

Now that we have defined these properties of God, and that we understand these properties, we can continue to provide the link between this and the existence of evil in humans, however select the minority may be. It is worth noting that my opponent has accepted the definition of evil in his previous posts, and implicitly has accepted the fact that evil does exist in some humans.

Let's make the link between the properties mentioned here and human evil, and moreover, the potential prevention of evil. Omnibenevolence in God dictates that, no matter how good or bad a human being is, God loves us all, and wants the best for us, all. A morally just and all-loving God as is implied by an omnibenevolent God would not allow evil to exist in our world. If this is the case, and evil persists to exist, then we have already established that God must not be omnibenevolent, merely due to the apparent presence of evil in human beings. And if he really is omnibenevolent, then he must not have the power to prevent evil - this contradicts the description of God being an omnipotent being. Furthermore, if we were to insist that God is both omnibenevolent, and omnipotent, then he must be unaware of the occurrence of evil in our world - discrediting his capacity for omniscience. Whichever way you look at it, the presence of evil in (some) human beings directly contradicts at least one of these fundamental attributes.

This is my elementary argument. The way in which this corresponds with my argument against the existence of a God at all, at least as we know him (an omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscience deity), is how the inclusion of false information in the bible must render it an unreliable source for the referencing of the word of God, and more importantly in this case, the description of God, and how he is not what the bible says he is.

My opponent will accept that the bible includes false information, because of reasons I have already mentioned further up this post. Regarding the bible as a source, specifically containing information on the word of God and the description of God, and also considering the standard procedure for assessing the reliability of a source, we can preclude that because the bible contains information that is not true, its reliability is immediately degraded, and therefore cannot be used as a sole reference for the study of a real deity. In short, the description of God in the bible must be at least partially false due to the findings that have been proven and equally justified in this post and the proven unreliability of the bible. This would mean that God must not be who we think he is - he may exist, but not as we know him to exist, which is the point I am making in this debate.

My opponent will now have 72 hours to compile a response to my argument.
1Credo

Con

Thanks, Pro.

1. Rebuttal


"Omnipotence means God has the power to do anything, anywhere - there is nothing he cannot do. He is the ultimate, the supreme being, and as creator of this universe, has complete and unlimited control over it."

To clarify, omnipotence entails the ability to do anything that is logically possible. Omnipotence does not entail the ability to actualize logical incoherences (i.e. create square circles, married bachelors, etc.)
http://treesearch.org...

"Omnibenevolence in God dictates that, no matter how good or bad a human being is, God loves us all, and wants the best for us, all. A morally just and all-loving God as is implied by an omnibenevolent God would not allow evil to exist in our world. If this is the case, and evil persists to exist, then we have already established that God must not be omnibenevolent, merely due to the apparent presence of evil in human beings. And if he really is omnibenevolent, then he must not have the power to prevent evil - this contradicts the description of God being an omnipotent being. Furthermore, if we were to insist that God is both omnibenevolent, and omnipotent, then he must be unaware of the occurrence of evil in our world - discrediting his capacity for omniscience. Whichever way you look at it, the presence of evil in (some) human beings directly contradicts at least one of these fundamental attributes."

Here, my opponent presents the classical "problem of evil" argument. Before getting into my objections to this argument, I'd like to note that this argument has been almost completely abandoned by academic philosophers, who acknowledge that there is no logical contradiction between the existence of evil and the existence of God.

In short, the "problem of evil" argument fails to show that there is a logical contradiction between (1) an all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing God and (2) the existence of evil. Proponents of this argument, like my opponent, state "And if he really is omnibenevolent, then he must not have the power to prevent evil - this contradicts the description of God being an omnipotent being." This is merely a misunderstanding of the concept of omnipotence. Omnipotence entails the ability to do all things that are logically possible. But if we take (1) to be creating human beings with freedom of the will and (2) to be forcing human beings to not commit evil acts, it becomes evident that (1) and (2) are mutually exclusive. An entity, omnipotent or not, cannot both (1) create human beings with freedom of the will and (2) force these same human beings to not commit evil acts, as the conjunction of (1) and (2) is not logically possible. As such, the existence of evil presents no problem towards God's omnipotence and the problem of evil fails to demonstrate any sort logical contradiction between God and evil.

"Regarding the bible as a source, specifically containing information on the word of God and the description of God, and also considering the standard procedure for assessing the reliability of a source, we can preclude that because the bible contains information that is not true"

I'm not sure why my opponent has made mention of the Bible, as this debate is not focused around the Christian conception of God in particular, but rather a generalized conception of God. I have made no attempt to use the Bible as a source, so my opponent's entire last two paragraphs were completely unnecessary. Furthermore, my opponent has not come anywhere close to demonstrating that "the Bible contains information that is not true"; but perhaps we'll leave that for another debate and instead focus on the topic at hand: whether or not there is a logical contradiction between God and evil.

2. Summary

Recall that my opponent is responsible for shouldering the burden of proof in this debate. As such, he must show that there is a logical contradiction between (1) the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing God and (2) the existence of evil in order to win the debate. At this point, he has failed to show any sort of logical contradiction.

Thank you.

3. Sources

http://treesearch.org...
Debate Round No. 2
charlie.cooke

Pro

charlie.cooke forfeited this round.
1Credo

Con

Conclusion

I don't have much to add, as my opponent has forfeited in the final round. I'd only note that the burden of proof has not been fulfilled by my opponent; he has failed to show that there is a logical contradiction between (1) the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing God and (2) the existence of evil. As no such contradiction has been presented, we can reasonably conclude that the presence of evil in our world does not contradict the existence of God.

I'd like to thank my opponent for creating and participating in this debate. I'd also like to thank any readers for taking the time to look it through.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
@Liberals

If He made everyone "NOT evil", then free will would dissipate.
Posted by Liberals 2 years ago
Liberals
If we had a god, and he created everyone, wouldn't he make them NOT evil?
Posted by 1Kingdom 2 years ago
1Kingdom
I am willing to debate you on this if you would like to set up another debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
charlie.cooke1CredoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con. Pro's entire argument was based on a logical fallacy, so arguments to Con. Only Con had sources.