The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
AznWords
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Evil proves God does not exist (6)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
AznWords
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,329 times Debate No: 16391
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

4 Rounds
8,000 Character limit
72 Hours to respond
1 Month voting period

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PROBLEMS ?

If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.
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EXPECTATIONS

It is expected that both parties act in good faith, eg no semantics, no cheap shots.
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Round 4

Round 4 is the last round, no new arguments are to be made in round 4. Only rebuttals, counter arguments of the previous arguments, and summaries.
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DEFINITIONS

Definition of God = Its existence is uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover
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Opening Statement & What this debate is about

The existence of evil has been used as a "proof" against Gods' non existence for a long time, by arguing the impossibility of God existing and evil existing.

According to wikipedia.... "In the philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity that is omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient (see theism). Some philosophers have claimed that the existence of such a God and of evil are logically incompatible or unlikely"" [1]

It should be noted, that this debate is about the logical incompatibility of evil existing and God existing.

Is there an explicit contradiction between God existing and evil existing ?

What if I was to argue the following....

1) If rabbits exist then aliens from another world don't exist.
2) rabbits do exist.
3) Therefore aliens from another world don't exist.

Even if everyone agrees that rabbits exist, this argument doesn't work, because there is no explicit contradiction between rabbits existing and aliens from another world also existing.

Now consider this argument......

1) If evil exists then God does not exist.
2) evil does exist.
3) Therefore God does not exist.

Once again, this argument doesn't work, even if we all agree that evil exists, there is no explicit contradiction between evil existing and God existing.

As William Craig says when addressing the existence of evil and God.... "According to the logical problem of evil, it is logically impossible for God and evil to co-exist. If God exists, then evil cannot exist. If evil exists, then God cannot exist. Since evil exists, it follows that God does not exist.

But the problem with this argument is that there’s no reason to think that God and evil are logically incompatible. There’s no explicit contradiction between them. But if the atheist means there’s some implicit contradiction between God and evil, then he must be assuming some hidden premises which bring out this implicit contradiction.." [2]

Seeing Pro is the one arguing that evil proves God does not exist, I shall await their argument.

I look forward to Pros response.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
AznWords

Pro

Opening Statements

I would first like to thank my opponent for proposing such a great debate topic. The problem of evil has been a topic of debate ever since the dawn of religion. I wish my opponent good luck and hope that everyone involved in this debate (including the voters and readers) enjoys this debate to be.

I will assume that my opponent has taken the burden of proof since he is the instigator of the debate and is contesting a well known resolution. If my opponent has any concerns over these terms I'd ask him to discuss it with me in the comments section to prevent this debate from going off topic and shifting focus to who carries the burden of proof.

Rebuttal & Main Argument

Now I will address my opponents opening argument, and by doing so will create my own constructive argument. The two lines of reasoning Con asks us consider have a few similarities. Both arguments have three propositions, and the same structure:

1) A premise stating two entities that cannot co-exist
2) A premise stating the existence of one of the previously mentioned entities
3) A conclusion stating that the entity from premise 1 that is not present in premise 2 does not exist

Another similarity is supposed controversy over the first premises. My opponent tries to draw such parallels between the two arguments so he may attempt to disprove one by disproving the other. Con has failed to state a crucial different between the two lines of reasoning though. My opponent states:

"Even if everyone agrees that rabbits exist, this argument doesn't work, because there is no explicit contradiction between rabbits existing and aliens from another world also existing."

Con makes a similar statement on the next argument. These statements claim the arguments are unsound because the first premise of each line of reasoning is false. The crucial difference is that there is indeed a contradiction between God and evil; the first premise of the second argument is not inherently false. Lets look at the second argument by it self:

1) If evil exists then God does not exist.
2) evil does exist.
3) Therefore God does not exist.

According to definition God is morally good, omniscient and omnipotent. On the premise that evil exists because we see examples of its existence quite frequently, God sees the existence of all evil (because he is omniscient), he is able to rid the world of all evil (because he is omnipotent) and has the will to extinguish all evil (because he is morally good). My new argument proves the first premise of the common line of reasoning used to confirm the resolution "Evil proves God does not exist". My opponent has assumed that there is no contradiction between God and Evil. The initial premise from the first argument has no contradiction between its two subjects but the definition of God does indeed clash with the existence of Evil. I have not introduced any new premises to the debate and have simply used or derived from already existing ones from my opponents arguments and definitions. So as the audience sees I have not assumed any premises--which is opposite of what Cons quotation suggested I would do to respond to the dismissal of the proposition "If evil exists then God does not exist". My current argument for this round ends here with the same argument my opponent has brought up. I will take the liberty of extending the argument so it shall rely on more self evident premises.

1. God is all good, powerful and knowing. He is also the first cause.
2. evil does exist
3. (derived from 1 and 2) God knows of any evil and has the will and power to stop it
4. (derived from 1) Since God is the first cause, all good and all powerful, he did not create evil.
5. (derived from 3 and 4) evil does not exist.

2 and 5 contradict each other. Since the proposition 2 is evidently true proposition 5 is false.

1) If evil exists then God does not exist.
2) evil does exist.
3) Therefore God does not exist.

1. The existence of evil is a premise in a sound argument God does not exist
2. Evil proves God does not exist

Q.E.D.

Closing Statements

My opponent has chosen an interesting opening to the Con side of the problem of evil by claiming the premise God and Evil cannot coexist is false on his arguments above. If my opponent decides not to further his opening argument and decides concede it I expect him to bring up popular theodicies taking different angles on the attack of the coexistence impossibility proposition and also well known theodicies attacking the proposition that evil exists. I have spent more of my time than I should have (at this time) because I was so excited about this debate and decided not to wait to submit a full response. I look forward to my opponents reply and again thank him for the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their opening argument.

Burden of Proof


Pro says "I will assume that my opponent has taken the burden of proof since he is the instigator of the debate and is contesting a well known resolution."

I am not too sure exactly what "burden" you think I have so allow me to clarify. The resolution is "Evil proves God does not exist", you are the Pro and thus are affirming that resolution.

"Each side is either in favor ("for, 'Affirmative' "), or opposed to ("against, 'Negative' "), a statement (proposition, moot or Resolution) which if adopted would change something with the exception allowed to define the scope of the proposition; i.e. they choose what it will mean if adopted. To further illustrate the importance of rules, those opposed must destroy these arguments sufficiently to warrant not adopting the proposition, and are not required to propose any alternative solutions." [1]

If you mean I have the burden to show that your argument in support of the resolution is a bad argument then Yes I have this burden, if you assume I have more than that burden, I do not.

CA = Counter argument

CA: Pros new argument

1. God is all good, powerful and knowing. He is also the first cause.
2. evil does exist
3. (derived from 1 and 2) God knows of any evil and has the will and power to stop it
4. (derived from 1) Since God is the first cause, all good and all powerful, he did not create evil.
5. (derived from 3 and 4) evil does not exist.

I object to premise 3. More specifically that God has the Will to stop evil. The premise allows for no possibility that God can have sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist. As such I agree to premise 3 on the CONDITION that God
would stop evil absent any moral sufficient reason for allowing evil.

But this raises the question, has it being proved that God can't have a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil to exist ? Maybe Pro will present argument that refutes this possibility, till then my argument is.......

1) It is possible for God to have a sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist
2) Evil exists
C: The existence of evil does not prove God does not exist.

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
AznWords

Pro

Second Round Opening Statements

Con has now made clear what burdens each party carries; our only burden (nothing more, nothing less) is to disprove our opponents arguments for his position of the resolution. I thank Con for taking time to address this. I hope I had not misunderstood the terms and will be open to hearing any corrections to my understanding of the debate parameters.

Addressing Rebuttals

My opponents objection to premise 3 of my previous argument draws the question of whether it is possible that God has sufficient moral reasoning for allowing evil to exist. Con has used this objection to make space for his round two argument. He contends that because it is possible that God has a sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist the existence of evil possibility does not contradict the existence of God and therefore evil does not necessarily disprove the existence of God (the resolution). My opponents argument may appear sound but he has not yet shown validation behind his first premise (It is possible for God to have a sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist). Cons premise is drawn to attention out of objection to my premise 3. My premise (not in the conditional form in which Con agrees to) is contradictory to his recent premise. The proposition "God knows any evil and has the will and power to stop it" clashes with my opponents "It is possible for God to have a sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist" on the point of whether God has the will to prevent evil from existing. Cons reasoning is that God may not have the will to prevent evil from existing because of a sufficiently moral reason. I challenge my opponents first premise of round two. I challenge Con to give an example of a moral reason for allowing evil to exist. I will introduce a definition of evil.

Evil: profoundly immoral and wicked[1]

So to paraphrase, I challenge my opponent to give an example of a moral reason for allowing immorality to the greatest extent.

I look forward to my Cons next response in this debate

Sources

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

CA: 3. (derived from 1 and 2) God knows of any evil and has the will and power to stop it

Previously I argued against this premise, on the basis it doesn't allow the possibility of God to have a moral sufficient reason to allow evil. I would like to point out, Pro does not dispute my claim.

I argued that's its possible that God could have sufficient moral reason. Pro did not provide any argument that's it is impossible for God to have sufficient moral reason.

Argument from Ignorance

Pro invites me to a challenge, a challenge to provide an example of a an evil and an explanation of the moral sufficient reason that God has for allowing that evil. My answer is I don't have one, I plead ignorance. As Pro says "So to paraphrase, I challenge my opponent to give an example of a moral reason for allowing immorality to the greatest extent."

Any ignorance on my part doesn't in any way prove or imply that God can't have moral sufficient reason for allowing evil. Now maybe Pro is trying to set up a counter argument that is built on the premise that God can't have a moral sufficient reason to allow evil. Of course Pro is free to do that, but if Pro was to justify that premise based on my ignorance, then it would be an argument from ignorance.

"Argument from ignorance or argumentum ad ignorantiam in its most formal definition is a logical fallacy that claims the truth of a premise is based on the fact that it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false because it has not been proven true." [1]

Cons argument

1) It is possible for God to have a sufficient moral reason for allowing evil to exist
2) Evil exists
C: The existence of evil does not prove God does not exist.

Pro says "I challenge my opponents first premise of round two." You are free to argue against the premise, but you didn't provide an argument against it.

I look forward to Pros reply.

[1] http://rationalwiki.org...

AznWords

Pro

Opening Statements of the Third Round

I again, out of both etiquette and respect for my opponent, thank Con for his reply. I am slightly disappointed that the debate did not cover a wider range of all the historical arguments for and against the problem of evil but will note that this debate has still been a pleasurable experience.

Round Three Arguments & Rebuttals

I first would like to explicitly state that I do indeed dispute Cons claim that there is a possibility of God to have a moral reason to allow evil to exist. I believed I had made it clear implicitly that I was disputing Cons claim when I made attacks on it but I state the above simply for clarity. I do note that saying I dispute a claim is not the same as presenting an argument against that claim. My argument was subtle but stated the Cons rebuttal had no validation--no basis for it. Please let the audience note that my argument was a defense to my first round contentions. In other words a deconstructive argument against a rebuttal. My purpose was not to further improve my position of the resolution, but to refute my opponents attack on my position. I will expand in the following paragraph.

I considered creating a new constructive argument for my round two response but decided against it on the grounds that I had properly shot down my opponents counter point and therefore my previous (Round 1) constructive arguments still stood while my opponent was left with no constructive arguments himself. In round one I had argued that God had the means and will to prevent the existence of evil. Evil exists so therefore God does not. This is evil proving the non-existence of God, which is the resolution. My opponents counter point was that God possibly does not have the will to prevent evil because of a supposed possibility of a moral reason for immorality. My opponents rebuttal has no reasoning behind it. The possibility of a moral reason to allow evil would indeed dispute a key point in my main argument, but Con has no evidence or logic in support of this proposition. He has merely stated it, which does not make it true. Con claims that I have made an argument from ignorance but I contend that it is actually my opponent who has made the logical fallacy. My opponents Round 2 rebuttal is based off ignorance. When asked for evidence of his rebuttal Con states "I don't have one, I plead ignorance"--because your rebuttal has not been proven false does not constitute evidence to prove it correct. When I state that my opponent has no evidence for his claim (besides apparently ignorance) I am accused of: building a new argument to prove the resolution on the fact that my opponent does not have evidence, when this is clearly not the case. My opponent not having evidence for the claim should be self-evident; it is not an argument, it is simply me pointing out Con has no argument.

Now my opponent tries to frame his rebuttal as a new constructive argument. My premises have all been based on the definitions the instigator of the debate presented (Con) except for the premise evil does exist which my opponent has already accepted. God is morally good (from the definition of God) so therefore he has the will to prevent the morally bad (or immorality). My opponents premise is God might have a moral reason to not prevent immoral and is based off of ignorance. Take note that God therefore has the will to prevent immorality is not a new argument but merely the definition.

If it pleases my opponent my argument against the first premise of my opponents previous argument is that it conflicts with the definition itself. I hope there will be no more dispute on whether there is an argument against that premise.

As a final note, my opponent has conceded his first round argument (by not responding to its rebuttal) and accepted my round one argument that runs through propositions 1,4 and 5 (by not responding to the argument).

I thank my opponent for another round and hand the debate back to him.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

Illegalcombatant forfeited this round.
AznWords

Pro

I am sorry to say, that due to technical difficulties my opponent could not post his response. I hope the audience will be understanding enough to see past this misfortune and not take the situation as my opponent forfeiting. Please consider both our arguments, fairly and with no bias, from Round 1 to Round 3. I understand that the results may still be unfair because of points or ideas that did not have the opportunity to be presented, defended or criticized. I hope the audience and my opponent understand this unfortunate situation and take all fairness in considering this debate. I will take this last opportunity to state that I have enjoyed the debate with my opponent and thank him again for presenting it. I look forward to debating Con in the future. I lastly will thank the audience for their time and honest read of the debate up to its abrupt ending.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by AznWords 5 years ago
AznWords
Sorry to hear. I'll make sure to tell the audience not to be too hard on you and just consider our arguments up to that point.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
arg I just pressed post my argument, and it wouldn't let me. Now time is up.
Posted by AznWords 5 years ago
AznWords
Humour me, explain to me why. You say its basic logic but all you do to back up your claim is use appeals to ridicule. How is it within my burden to disprove my opponents attack on my argument that is built off nothing more than possibly ignorance and/or circular reasoning? I believe that you likely do not understand the burden of proof in the context of this debate. I also believe that you ask for an extra burden that has not been assumed through convention or stated anywhere on the debate. Why do you think I am further burdened to prove why my opponent is incorrect when it is not clear why he is correct; why is it my burden to show that his rebuttal argument is inherently self-defeating? Is it not my opponents burden to validate his position rather than me disproving an attack that is already baseless (which I have also done). Argumentum Ad Ignorantium and Circular thinking are at times very subtle. In this case it is not and I have clearly outlined why my opponent is incorrect. I contend that it is OBVIOUS that you are WRONG because its OBVIOUS and you are WRONG and its simply basic logic. If you do not understand why, you are as unintellegient as the poor saps who cannot see the emperors beautiful new clothing. We shall do debate on this very subject sometime, so that I may make proper argument in a formal public forum towards your statements.
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
Its basic logic. It is true you are debating IC, but surely even you must realise that the resolution is doomed. If you can't see why you need to prove having sufficient moral reasoning for evil is impossible for your argument to be valid I don't really think I need say any more.
Posted by AznWords 5 years ago
AznWords
Please note that this is not your debate and it would not matter whether or not my position is inherently doomed to fail. This is a debate demonstrating IC's and my skills as a debater. I'm unsure why I would be burdened (or have the desire) to prove it is impossible for God to have sufficient moral reasoning. I assume you mean sufficient moral reasoning for allowing evil to exist. Again, just because I apparently cannot prove it does not mean that it is true (not in this context where there are no formal parameters because its a comments section). I have not accepted the fact that there is a possibility of such moral reason I only acknowledge that someone has claimed there is a possibility. My link had little to do with the actual debate, it was a link to a harsh criticism of Platinga--whose name you boast as you proclaim I have instantly been defeated. A debate isn't decided on who has the "right" position of the argument but by who makes a more convincing argument with logic. A debate can still be won even when arguing for the utmost absurd topics (not saying the resolution of this debate is, of course).
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
So yeah. (Barring retardation from IC) You've lost.
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
You must demonstrate that it is impossible for god to have sufficient moral reasoning, which it is impossible to do, or you have lost. I could not view that link at work, but I am highly skeptical that they have proven that something which is not fully defined in its properties (as we do not know what the sufficient moral reason is) cannot exist.
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
Basic Platinga. IC has pretty much won.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by detachment345 5 years ago
detachment345
IllegalcombatantAznWordsTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit