The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
gizmo1650
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points

Evil proves God does not exist (Part 2)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,800 times Debate No: 15894
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (6)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

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

NO VIDEO LINKS
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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).[1][2] 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 and God.

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...

gizmo1650

Pro

According to Con's definition, god is:
1) Morally good
2) all powerful
3) all knowing

If I can show that a being with these three properties is incompatible with evil, than it follows that any being with these properties would be incompatible.

Before I begin my argument, i feel that a few more words need defining.

Happiness = A quantitative measure of a beings pleasure. I admit we have no method of determining happiness in a quantitative manner, however we can determine it in a relative manner (mostly), and a quantitative must exist, as are brains are physical things. Note, happiness can be negative, which would represent sadness

Good = an action which results in a net increase in the total happiness of everyone, can be expanded to a number which would allow us to say one action is more good than another. Again this could be negative, meaning bad.

Moral = taking the action that results in most good.

Evil = bad = negative good

I will be arguing for the validity of the following statement:
If evil exists then God does not exist.

1) If God were to slice space-time into tiny pieces, and remove those pieces with a net negative good, the net value of good would be greater than it is now
2) God has the ability to do (2)
3) By definition of moral, (2) is morally good.
4) By definition of God, he would do what is morally good.

I await your response
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

I think this is the second time we have debated, and our first debate was on the very same topic. Hopefully both sides have improved their arguments from last time.

What does it mean to do a morally good action ?

Pros argument is that God does not do what is moral cause according to Pro "Good = an action which results in a net increase in the total happiness of everyone,"

I think this idea that happiness of everyone is the highest priority should be rejected. Allow me to give an example....

Countering that maximums happiness equals the most moral action with Pedophile island

On pedophile island, there are lots and lots of pedophiles and only a few children. Now raping children makes these pedophiles really really happy. If we were to use Pros definition of what is good, then we should not only allow but help the pedophiles rape children cause after all its all about what produces happiness.

Lets look at an alternative morality, a morality that doesn't sacrifice everything in the name of happiness, say for instance a moral system where people have "rights", like the rights not to be raped. Now in this system assuming those rights are enforced the pedophiles on pedophile island aren't going to be as happy, they might even be very sad.

Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. This is often used as a justification for evaluating actions in terms of how much pleasure and how little pain (i.e. suffering) they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize this net pleasure (pleasure minus pain) [1]

--- Rejecting hedonism and looking at an another alternative ---

According to Pro "Moral = taking the action that results in most good." & "Good = an action which results in a net increase in the total happiness of everyone"

As pedophile island demonstrates this is an untenable moral frame work. But if happiness as defined by pleasure and pain is not the highest priority then what is ?

A possible highest moral good is the knowledge of God, as William Craig explains... "One reason that the problem of evil seems so puzzling is that we tend to think that if God exists, then His goal for human life is happiness in this world. God’s role is to provide comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view this is false. We are not God’s pets, and man’s end is not happiness in this world, but the knowledge of God, which will ultimately bring true and everlasting human fulfillment. Many evils occur in life which maybe utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness in this world, but they may not be unjustified with respect to producing the knowledge of God." [2]

Craig also goes on to say.... "The knowledge of God is an incommensurable good. To know God, the source of infinite goodness and love, is an incomparable good, the fulfillment of human existence. The sufferings of this life cannot even be compared to it. Thus, the person who knows God, no matter what he suffers, no matter how awful his pain, can still say, “God is good to me,” simply by virtue of the fact that he knows God, an incomparable good" [2]

With the moral framework that Pro uses to mount his argument shown untenable, the arguments made on this untenable moral framework are now without justification.

I look forward to Pros response.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
gizmo1650

Pro

In defense of hedonism.

On pedophile island, i suspect that the act of raping the child would create more sadness in the child, then happiness in the pedophile. As sad is defined as negative happy, we can say that the net result of the rape is bad, making it immoral. I will grant that in my definition, if the pedophile gains more happiness than the victim sadness, all else being equal, it would be moral.

Having sad that, if con would be willing to provide an alternate definition i would be willing to consider it.

Con proposes that we use God as a moral standard. This is a problem, as we used morality to define God, so any definition based on God would make it meaningless.

Anyway, from round one it sounds like you grant that evil does exist, and you did not challenge my saying that i need only show that evil is contradictory to God, so what defines evil is not entirely relevant.

As my definitions are on hold, I will proceed using what i think are the excepted definitions, which I believe are what i proposed, just not formally defined.

B0) Assume God exists
B1)Evil is bad
B2)A moral being would want to do good
B3) The removal of bad is good
B4) The removal of evil is good
B5) A moral being would want to remove evil
B6) God is a moral being
B7) God would want to remove evil
B6) God is capable of removing evil
B7) God would remove evil
B8) Their would be no evil
B9) Their is evil
B10) Our initial assumption that God exists is false, as it leads to a contradiction.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their quick response.

Pedophile island and the rejection of hedonism

Even if Pro objects that maybe there is more suffering on pedophile island so their moral frame work says not to allow it, as Pro concedes what about the pedophile island where the pleasure of the pedophiles is greater than the suffering produced ?

As I said argued before....moral = good and good = what ever brings the most pleasure happiness is refuted.

Pro asks me for a definition, a definition of what ?

Countering Pros new argument

Pro says "B7) God would remove evil"

This has a hidden premise in there. The hidden premise is that God has no reason to allow evil.

B7) Should be restated as God has no reason to allow evil to exist, then once that was established Pro could continue on with....

B8) Their would be no evil
B9) Their is evil
B10) Our initial assumption that God exists is false, as it leads to a contradiction.

But B7 has not being established, because their is no justification given why God/a moral being would have no reason what so ever to allow evil to exist.

Seeing the claim that God has no reason to allow evil is just an assertion, it could be false and thus God could have reason/s to allow evil to exist.

On what basis do you claim God has no reason to allow evil ?

As such, it has not being proved that the existence of God and evil is logically incompatible.

Evil and objective morality

When evil is used to prove that God doesn't exist, the evil that is presented must be presented as an transgression against an objective moral standard. This is the case cause if evil was just presented in the argument as being subjective, this makes what is evil based on our own personal preferences. As such it would be arguing that God should get rid of this personal distaste that we call evil, and while he is at it, why doesn't he get rid of carrots since we have a personal distaste for them too.

As it has been said......

1) If there is no objective moral standard, then there is no transgression of an objective moral standard,

2) If there is no transgression of that objective moral standard, then evil does not exist objectively,

3) If evil does not exist objectively, then what is the objection to it ?

Now pro objects that God as defined should not be the objective moral standard for determining what is evil, fair enough. So what is Pro using as the objective moral standard that which he claims God has transgressed ? And thus God as defined does not exist. What is the objective moral standard that Pro is reffering too when they object that this "evil" that exists, proves God does not exist ?

I look forward to Pros response.
gizmo1650

Pro

Pedophile island

I maintain, that if the pedophile derived more pleasure than the victims sadness, it would be a moral act.

My definition of morality is the only one I have heard that can be used meaningfully in this type of conversation. Again, I am willing to consider another definition of morality, good, or any other term.

Defending my Arguement

An observent reader might note that I mislable my arguement, specificly there are two B6 and B7s. To clarify this, B7.1 refers to the first, while B7.2 refers to the second. Likewise with B6.

Con objects to B7.2 "God would remove evil"
This was based directly the previus two points

B7.1) God would want to remove evil
B6.2) God is capable of removing evil

I do not see how I have a hidden premise between these two points and B7.2. Remember, any additional property of God that makes him do something perfectly moral, means that he is no longer morally perfect. But as he was defined as morally perfect, he is then internally contradictory.

Evil and objective morality
As I stated before, Con has already agreed that this debate assumes evil's exsistence. I have brought this up in the previus round without a challenge.

In this arguement, pro is saying that evil does not exist. As my arguement is a proof by contradiction, it would need to remain true that evil does not exist even if God exists. Therefore, this arguement does not do anything to show how evil and God can coexist.

As I have stated previusly, moral can not be defined in terms of God, because God is defined in terms of moral. That would be like saying foo is goo, and goo is foo. Now you know what foo is.
I have also explained my objective moral standard. I admit that it is subjective to bob if my texting makes him sad. However it is an objective fact that my texting makes him said. So, all other things being equal, it would be immoral for me to text. This of course assumes that my texting does not effect my happiness, or that of anyone else, or any other consequence it could have. I admit that quantifing happiness is practicly impossible, however as happiness is a function of the brain, an objective measure does exists, we simply have to way to determine it, making our moral views a best guess, at what the true moral value of an action is.
I must admit, I do not understand what con means by evil. I would like a formal defintion in the form of Moral=, or Moral is.
Under any definition you give, please provide an example of something that would be moral or imoral, and an explanation of how that is derived from your definition.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Moral Frameworks and Pedophile Island

Pro says "I maintain, that if the pedophile derived more pleasure than the victims sadness, it would be a moral act."

In order for your first argument to work, your moral framework which says that at pedophile island, if the raping of children by the pedophiles results in more pleasure than the victims sadness it is a moral act. Once again I think this shows how absurd your moral framework is, and thus your first arguments against Gods existence based on this absurd moral frame work.

Evil and objective morality

Pro says "As I stated before, Con has already agreed that this debate assumes evils existence. I have brought this up in the previous round without a challenge."

If Pro thinks I am denying that evil exists, then Pro is mistaken allow me to clear this up.

Pro misunderstands my argument in this area. What I was showing, is that when some one uses the argument that "evil" exists as a proof of Gods non existence, they are committing themselves to the existence of a objective moral standard.

As I said objective evil can't exist, unless there is an objective moral standard. So Pro has two options, either deny that an objective moral standard exists, at which point there is no objective evil, thus the argument falls apart or commit themselves that an objective moral standard exists and argue that "God" has some how not met this objective moral standard because "evil" exists.

Pro asks "Under any definition you give, please provide an example of something that would be moral or immoral"

I have already agreed that evil exists. We can call the existence of evil "x". The argument that evil exists "x" is not dependent on what exactly is or isn't evil, just that evil exists. What I do want to emphasize is that the argument that evil exists as a proof against the existence of God, commits it self to there being an objective moral standard.

With Pros moral frame work of hedonism refuted, and Pro can't reference "God" as the moral objective standard, then what exactly is the objective moral standard that Pro is referring too when making the charge that God has not lived up to this objective moral standard ?

Countering Pros new argument

Pro says "B7.2 "God would remove evil"

In order to support B7.2 Pro based this on B7.1) God would want to remove evil &B6.2) God is capable of removing evil

Maybe I should of being more clear before, I agree God would want to remove evil, except in the case where there is sufficient moral reason not too.

Now if Pro claims that there is no moral sufficient reason for God to allow evil (Which he must in order for this argument to work) then on what basis does he make the claim that God can't have any moral sufficient reason for allowing evil ?

Until it is proven God and/or a moral being can never have sufficient moral reason to allow evil, it must be conceded that God could have sufficient moral reason to allow evil.

Summary/Closing statements

Pros first argument made the charge against God, cause God has not acted in a way that resulted in the most happiness. But this argument was based on a moral value that put "happiness" as the highest value, and was shown to be absurd as it meant that in the case of pedophile Island as long as the happiness of the raping pedophiles was greater than the suffering produced by the raping, then this was a moral act !!!

With this moral framework refuted, and Pro unable to use "God" as an objective moral standard, Pro had no answer as to what they were using as their objective moral standard to charge that God had done something objectively wrong by allowing evil to exist.

Pros second argument claimed that evil exists (Something I did not challenge) and God would have no moral sufficient reason to allow evil to exist. But no proof was given as to why God would have no moral sufficient reason to allow evil exist, in any circumstance. As such it is possible that God could have sufficient moral reason for allowing evil.

The existence of evil has not be shown to be a proof against the existence of God.

I ask a vote for Con.

I thank Pro for participating in this debate.
gizmo1650

Pro

Pedophile Island
I think you are seriusly underestimating the pain that pedophiles cause their victims.

Con has explicitly conceeded that evil exists if God exists.
For the sake of debate, I will grant that evil cannot exist without God, however, recall that I am using a proof by contradiction, meaning I assume that God does exist and then find a resulting contradiction. IE the existence of evil.

Con sais: "Maybe I should of being more clear before, I agree God would want to remove evil, except in the case where there is sufficient moral reason not too."

In that case, I will demonstrate how their cannot be sufficient reason for God not to.

Evil is by definition bad.
The moral thing is by definition the thing that causes the most good.
Removing evil removes bad which is equivilent to creating good.
God can remove evil without removing any good. | Instead of providing my usual defence of this point, I will simply say that he is omnipotent by definition.
As removing evil is equal to creating good, and no good is lost, removing evil will be good.
In the context removing evil would be moral.
Without loss of generality, this can be applied to any evil no matter how small.

Summary

0) Assume God exists
1) God would want their to be no evil. | By definition of morally good
2) God would be able to make their be no evil. | By definition of all powerful
3) Their would be no evil | Follows from 1 and 2
4) Evil does not exists | Follows from 3
5) Evil exists | Conceded by Con
6) Our initial assumption is wrong. | It resulted in a contradiction
7) God does not exist

Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
You complained that without God, I had no basis to make a moral judgement
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
I never argued evil does not exist. I am being very literal and specific with my words and terms don't add to them thanks.

Well set up a debate on the logical problem of evil if you want and challenge me. "The existence of evil proves that God does not exist"
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
You never raised the objection that evil does not exist during the debate. What we are talking about now is if it was valid for me to use evils existence, even after I granted that it could not exist without God
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
n the context of the debate, you granted that if God existed, then evil would exist

Nope, I granted that the existence of evil doesn't prove that God doesn't exist or another way of puttting it, if God exists then evil COULD exist, not WOULD exist.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
Not withstanding, if I am using a proof by contradiction, than I am aloud to use any fact that follows from the fact I am trying to disprove.
A more basic example is:
Assume 5=6
It follows from that that 1=2, subtract 4 from both sides
My brother and I are 2 people
My brother and I are 1 person
We have a contradiction
Therefore our assumption that 5=6 is wrong

Knowing that 5!=6, my proof that 1=2 no longer holds.
This does not make my using it invalid, as I derived it from my initial assumption.

In the context of the debate, you granted that if God existed, then evil would exist.
My logic was:
Assume God exists
It follows that evil exists
... (main arguement)
Therefore evil does not exist
We have a contradiction
Therefore our initial assumption that God exists must be false.
Our proof for evil existing no longer holds.

Point being, if God exists, evil both does and does not exist.
If God does not exist, I make no claim on the existence of evil.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Con has granted that if God existed their would then be evil.

Not exactly, I showed that using evil to try and prove God does not exist, commits to their being an objective moral standard, and thus I argue what implications that has.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
"I did read the debate, however, and saw this snippet from gizmo: "I will grant that evil cannot exist without God". With that statement, he gave the entire argument to con by agreeing with Con's position."

My quote in its entirety is "For the sake of debate, I will grant that evil cannot exist without God, however, recall that I am using a proof by contradiction, meaning I assume that God does exist and then find a resulting contradiction."

The proof by contradiction means that I am assuming Gods existence. Con has granted that if God existed their would then be evil. I have shown that if God existed their could not be evil. This means that if God exists their is both evil and no evil, which is impossible. Without god, their might be evil or no evil.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
If i understand utilitarianism correctly, it is also my moral view. The only thing that I would disagree with you is that it does apply to all sentient beings. What is subjective and based in our culture and generic code is our implementation of it. By implementation, I mean the heuristics we use to determine the 'utility' of a given action. I agree that our implementation would likely give us falls results with other species.

utility=pleasure minus pain, summed up from all beings.
Posted by maninorange 6 years ago
maninorange
Speaking from a strict logical standpoint, contradictory means that one is true and one is false. If it's the case that they cannot both be true, but it's possible for them to both be false, we instead say that they are instead "contraries."

The way most people use contradictory actually means contrary, and that's how you and I have been using it. However, the point remains. If it is possible for them to both be true, they are neither contrary nor contradictory.

And I don't know if you were asking me or illegal... but I'm a speciesist-relativist utilitarian. Morality is determined by a species; morality is determined by a genetic code. However, i hold that the morality for humans resides in utilitarianism. Though it's not purely objective, it is at least objective from a human standpoint. I wouldn't force this view of morality on, say, an alien culture, or a highly evolved population of rats.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
I am still interested in your definition of morall.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by maninorange 6 years ago
maninorange
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Note: I am convinced of gizmo's position if and only if one assumes utilitarianism. According to any other theory of ethics, the argument is basically worthless. I give gizmo 1/3 of the convincing argument points.
Vote Placed by DylanAsdale 6 years ago
DylanAsdale
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: All systems of logic, formal and informal, disprove the resolution. I don't even have to read the debate. I did read the debate, however, and saw this snippet from gizmo: "I will grant that evil cannot exist without God". With that statement, he gave the entire argument to con by agreeing with Con's position.
Vote Placed by brokenboy 6 years ago
brokenboy
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: L
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively defended against the resolution and pointed out the flaws in Pro's arguments. However, dodging the definition of "moral" lost the conduct vote.
Vote Placed by Ryanconqueso 6 years ago
Ryanconqueso
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: fancy word play, and ridiculous argument representation aside. There is an open contradiction with god's omnipotence and the existence of evil even if the objectivity is being scrutinized by standard definition it is contradictory nonetheless.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Illegalcombatantgizmo1650Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: "God can remove evil without removing any good." - pro should have opened with that, the opposition to it is that he can not, if he could evil shows god does not exist