Evil confirms it is likely that god exists
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"A popular argument" implies one argument so which 'argument' are you referencing precisely? And beyond that, you've stated that you believe that the aforementioned argument 'proves the likelihood that a god must therefore exist', yet you never delve into HOW you believe it proves this. You could at least say something like "All suffering is caused by satan, since there's a satan, there must be a god" (despite that being completely idiotic) and that would be an attempt at a chain of reasoning. A very loose chain, but still. And proving a 'likelihood' is hardly convincing. I can have Cheerios in my cupboard, but I'm not going to say that proves the likelihood of there being milk in the fridge. Say "It proves it" or "there's a likelihood", not both.
The argument using evil and suffering to prove that God cannot exist usually follows the reasoning that: If a good loving God exist, then how can He allow a little 4 year old girl who is innocent to be run over by a car when she did nothing wrong. The argument takes various forms with different types of scenarios and the conclusion is usually either a good God exists or does not exist. My argument is that it is faulty trying to prove NO god can exist using this argument and also that the presence of E&S can prove a god can exist. Let"s say a good God cannot exist because E&S is present then the option by default is not that no God exists but rather that an evil god can exist causing evil. If a good God cannot exist because He created evil and therefore is also evil then it is quite likely that an evil god must have created evil and therefore allows evil. So quite obviously, the likelihood that an evil god exists is greater than no god or a good god. The atheist does not prove anything by establishing a 33.3% probability that a good God cannot exist. The atheist must be able to use this argument to absolutely proof that NO god can exist because E&S is present.
The argument used by atheists is a bit biased because it usually only presents the two options mentioned that either God exists or not. As mentioned, there is another option available that gets overlooked and that is why I worded my argument to say "the likelihood that a god" must exist. The third option is quite simply: If God does not exist then why blame God for evil and suffering because E&S is a present reality? Whatever reason can be thought of to explain E&S if God does not exist can also be used to vindicate God"s existence because E&S exists and can therefore exist without being dependent on God"s existence. The focus should not only be whether God exist or not but also if it is justified to make God"s existence depended on the presence of E&S. If it can be shown that E&S is not justified to be used to conclude that God can either exist or not then the options of either God exists or not, becomes irrelevant. I am mentioning this for clarities sake to answer your statement above and not as an argument. So considering all three options but only focusing on two proves only likelihood.
The whole E&S argument is based on likelihood. The argument states that if a good God exists then you expect not to see evil & suffering. If there is evil & suffering then it is likely that a good God does not exist. This is the general conclusion. The likelihood is then considered as enough prove to state no God exists. As mentioned, this is a fallacy because it does not consider a third option that an evil god can exist. It is more likely that the alternative option to a good God to explain E&S will be an evil god rather than no god. This substantiates my conclusion that E&S actually proves a likelihood that a god must therefore exist, but in this case, an evil god. Whether the God is good or evil or not is irrelevant because a god exists and that cannot be disproved by the argument.
And by the way; You said: I can have Cheerios in my cupboard, but I'm not going to say that proves the likelihood of there being milk in the fridge. Why would you bother having Cheerios if there is no milk in your fridge? Having Cheerios actually does prove there is a likelihood that milk will be in your fridge unless you eat it with coca cola, orange juice or use it for decoration purposes.
First, evil and suffering are not interchangeable. I'm suffering here at work but no evil has been done to me. I think Donald Trump is evil but he doesn't seem to be suffering. One is an adjective and the other is a noun.
Second, you're essentially inverting the argument (probably to suit your proposal). You assume we're saying that if evil exists, god does not when we're actually saying the opposite. We're saying that if god exists, you must accept that these things (that any normal person would consider evil or suffering) are his will. You must accept that a God who loves all his children would allow for, even have planned for that child to be struck down by that car. You should be happy that it happened because after all, it was God's will, correct? We're saying that the driver was not at fault because God planned for that girl to have had only 4 years of life to live. No need to charge him with vehicular homicide, just forgive and forget. You should be thanking God when a child dies at birth because obviously he didn't think the parent was ready.
Your 'examples' that atheists use are glossed over. Never is evil or suffering used as evidence against God's existence, but rather expressions of the nature of God should he exist. Your God is a cruel and uncaring God and why shouldn't he be? God is eternal, correct? The existence of man is nothing more than a blink of an eye in God's timeline, which is infinite. That which has no end, has no meaning. If there is no conclusion, there is no evil. Can you honestly name one 'evil' act that doesn't involve some sort of end? If there is a God with a heaven waiting for all (or some) of us. What's the point of this thing we call a life? Is it just some kind of test? And a test for what? Why would a God want to put us through life at all, skip it all and bring everyone who would ever exist to heaven!
The simple fact is that you have no good answer to these questions because at most you'll only examine them at a superficial level and ignore whatever reasoning doesn't suit you. God is super-awesome and everything he does is super-right. You've already made up your mind and are cherry-picking the arguments that fit your position.
And for the record, just because I have cereal in my cupboard does not increase the likelihood that I'll have milk in my fridge. And no, I don't pour soda or OJ on it. I've eaten entire boxes of dry cereal as a snack before... whereas I guess you feel that's unnatural and throw it on your wall... for decoration?
Perhaps you have a different idea of what the E&S argument is or heard someone present it differently. The WE you speak of definitely does not represent the viewpoints of all atheists every where. The fact is it is used interchangeable and grouped together by some. I stated a popular argument is, not a popular argument used by ALL atheists. The logical conclusion is usually that evil can cause suffering so the two go hand in hand. I based the argument on what I heard was presented by atheists so no cherry picking here. See SOME of MANY examples below that prove your assertions about what the "WE" should believe are wrong:
The problem of evil and suffering is one of the commonest reasons people give for not believing in God. http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Problem of Evil and Suffering (Philosophy). If an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God exists, why doesn"t he prevent evil in the world? Why doesn"t he use his power to stop evil and suffering in the world? If he loves all humans, why does it let this occur? And if he know it"s happening, again why does he not stop it? https://prezi.com...
Professor of philosophy Walter Sincott-Armstrong debated William Lane Craig once upon a time long ago on the topic of whether the existence of evil and suffering disprove that god exists. In the debate, Armstrong makes some pretty compelling arguments that there cannot be a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving to the maximal degree. http://www.atheismandthecity.com...
You state: We're saying that if god exists, you must accept that these things (that any normal person would consider evil or suffering) are his will. You must accept that a God who loves all his children would allow for, even have planned for that child to be struck down by that car.
My argument acknowledged that it can be considered that there is a likelihood that a good God will not allow this. But the argument is that if we establish that a good God cannot exist or cause it then it is more likely that an evil god is the reason for it. It"s a logical alternative: Good God cannot cause evil therefore evil god probably have caused evil. The argument therefore proves the likelihood that a god can still exist and in this case an evil god. Nothing you said or the E&S argument itself proved in any way that NO god can therefore exist.
You state: Your God is a cruel and uncaring God and why shouldn't he be? God is eternal, correct?
You obviously do not understand Christian philosophy. The reason why things are the way they are is explained in the Bible. Instead of finding out why the Bible says things are the way it is, you use arguments that seem right and try to impose YOUR view of what Christianity MUST be on God. Find out why it is the way it is, you will quickly realize that your argument is irrelevant to disprove the actual reason why it is the way it is according to the Bible. It"s like comparing Cheerios with milk and then to insist that the Cheerios must be a liquid because in ends up in your digestive system and not a solid.
You ask: Can you honestly name one 'evil' act that doesn't involve some sort of end?
It depends on what you mean by "some sort of end". But in the broad sense, evil acts can cause good actions. For example: A child that died being run over by a car changes the father who was a drunkard all his life, beating and abusing his wife and children. The pain he feels makes him see the error of his ways and he turns in to a loving husband and father treating his family with the dignity they deserved. And this is an actual example, not something I dreamed up.
Again: The simple fact is that you have no good answer to these questions because at most you'll only examine them at a superficial level and ignore whatever reasoning doesn't suit you.
Well if it was the purpose of the argument I would have probably addresses it better. You do realize of course that everything you said so far did not disprove my statement that the E&S argument cannot prove NO God can exist and also that the argument actually makes it more likely an evil god exists which refutes the argument as well.
And as an advert for Cheerios: And for the record, just because I have cereal in my cupboard does not increase the likelihood that I'll have milk in my fridge. And no, I don't pour soda or OJ on it. I've eaten entire boxes of dry cereal as a snack before... whereas I guess you feel that's unnatural and throw it on your wall... for decoration?
Try it with milk, it"s actually much better, but then again, that will increase the likelihood of milk in your fridge right?
Your first link is an article written by someone who obviously has a strong belief in god. It is not in any way someone using "evil and suffering" as a reason for not believing in god.
Your second link is simply your argument, with a bunch of empty circles so I'm not sure how it relates.
You then go on a rant that seems more like an argument for polytheism than it does supporting your initial position. Then you proceed to discuss cereal (which was initially meant by me to be a simple example of logic) more than you support your initial premise.
Any athiest you've ever heard discuss evil in the world or suffering is not trying to prove there is no god, we're theorizing what the character of god must be in order to allow such atrocities (which, ironically is how most of us became atheists). You posed the notion that somehow the presence of 'evil' and 'suffering' in this world support the fact that God exists but somehow keep skirting around how this relationship works. We simply say that these are man-made constructs, easily explainable by natural processes.
To use your example from earlier, is a young girl being run over by a car evil? Is the driver inherently evil? Or is it possible that he was distracted? Perhaps he just happened to be driving west at the end of the day and the sun was in his eyes and he couldn't see. Perhaps he was speeding because he just got the call that his wife was going into labor and ran a red light. But now he's killed some other man's little girl.
You purported to provide direct correlation between the existence of evil and suffering and the existence of God. I'm simply saying that you have not.
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