The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Lightkeeper
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Evil proves God does not exist (Part 3)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Lightkeeper
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,400 times Debate No: 15959
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

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).[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 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...
Lightkeeper

Pro

I thank my opponent for posting this interesting debate.

At the outset, I want to point out that I disagree with my opponent's use of logical sentences (eg rabbits and aliens) but I don't believe that, for the present purposes, I need to argue the issue of "sound argument" versus "valid argument".

My argument is simple and I intend to proceed by way of a syllogism of sorts. Consider the following:

1. Evil is immoral. This is a premise but it's not a hidden premise. We can all agree (I hope) that, by definition, evil is immoral. Of course, if my opponent asks for dictionary definitions to prove this point, I will happily oblige.

2. A morally good agent must have in its nature a desire that no immoral things should happen. This goes with the very definition of moral goodness.

3. An all-powerful agent can do anything it pleases. It COULD therefore stop all immoral things from happening and it could do so at no cost at all.

4. An all-powerful AND morally good agent would NECESSARILY want to (see 2) and would NECESSARILY be able to (see 3) stop immoral things from happening and it could do so at no cost (because it's all-powerful). Therefore, such an agent would NECESSARILY stop immoral things from happening.

5. But evil exists (I hope we can agree on this) and therefore immoral things exist (see 1; evil is immoral). Hence, no agent has stopped them from happening.

6. Since no agent has stopped immoral things from happening (see 5), there can't exist such an agent that would NECESSARILY stop immoral things from happening.

7. But an agent such as the one in 6 above (or, to be precise, at least one type of such an agent) is a morally good and all-powerful agent (see 4 above), otherwise defined as "god" in my opponent's opening argument.

(Note that the fact that these two attributes are not the only attributes of god's definition is not relevant here. If an agent who meets even only two of god's attributes can't exist, god can't exist.)

8. Therefore god (as defined) can't exist.
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Countering Pros Argument

Pro says "3. An all-powerful agent can do anything it pleases. It COULD therefore stop all immoral things from happening and it could do so at no cost at all."

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Stopping all immoral things does have a cost, for example the cost of not having moral free agents being able to choose between good and evil. Another cost of stopping evil would be anything that would result in a world where evil exists which would not have been the case in the absence of evil existing.

This clearly shows the claim that stopping evil has no cost if false, and thus the conclusion that God does not exist which rests on this premise is in doubt.

Evil and objective morality

Pro says "5. But evil exists (I hope we can agree on this) and therefore immoral things exist (see 1; evil is immoral). Hence, no agent has stopped them from happening."

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.

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 to the existence of an objective moral standard.

The existence of an objective moral standard means God might exist

Now I am not going to argue that the existence of an objective moral standard PROVES God exists, but rather make the more modest claim that God as defined COULD be the objective moral standard. God as defined could be the standard of which things are compared to determine if they are "good" or "evil". If something is contrary to God then it is "evil".

Now Pro can't refer too God as the objective moral standard, so then what is the objective moral standard that Pro is referring too when they make claims about the existence of objective evil ? As such it must be conceded that God could be the objective moral standard and thus God might exist.

I look forward to Pros reply.

Lightkeeper

Pro



I thank my opponent for his prompt reply.

My opponent has attacked points 3 and 5 of my argument. I will now address his rebuttals.

1. Point 3- whether an all-powerful god can stop all immoral things from happening at no cost.

My opponent's claim in regard to this part of the argument is that all things happen at a cost as "there's no such thing as a free lunch". My opponent then resorts to the worn-out excuse that attempts to incorporate free will into the equation. This fails and below I will show why.

Assuming that the god claimed by my opponent is not in fact omnipotent (all-powerful)but is simply very powerful, the entity admittedly could not breach logic and allow agents to make moral choices while disallowing the existence of evil/immorality.

Let's remember that my opponent has defined God as "morally good". Let's then ask ourselves a question. Would a morally good entity allow evil things to happen simply for the sake of allowing agents to choose evil things? Of course it wouldn't.

A morally good entity must prefer a morally good state of affairs to a morally deficient state of affairs. And a state of affairs where it's possible to commit a an evil act is a less morally good state of affairs than a state of affairs where this is impossible.

Let's take an example. John notices a man doing a thing that (let's assume for now) is evil. For instance, the man is raping a young child. John has 2 options:

i) Stop the evil (rape of a child) and therefore deprive the rapist of exercising a morally wrong act (in effect limit the rapist's free will);

or

ii) Do nothing.

I suggest that the action in (i) would be a morally better action than the inaction in (ii). An agent who prevents moral wrong is a morally better agent than one who doesn't. What's the moral good of preserving an immoral free will? Nothing. A person who has the means to stop an evil and fails to do so only to say "Oh, but I wanted the evil-doer to exercise his free will" cannot be said to be acting in a morally good way. Quite to the contrary.

On another note, let's take the claimed God as an example. Is God capable of acting immorally? No. God is defined (by my opponent) as morally good. Does this mean that God suffers from a lack of ability to choose between good and bad? Apparently so. Does this make God worse or worse of? Does this make Him unhappy or defective? I don't think my opponent would say that it does. Therefore, there's nothing wrong (and certainly nothing morally wrong) in the existence of an agent who is incapable of choosing evil. What is then the basis for claiming that this ability to choose evil is so important as to justify a morally good agent in allowing evil acts (by creating humans who are susceptible to doing evil)? I suggest there is no basis.

Indeed, nothing in the way that my opponent has defined "god" provides any room for such an argument. "God' is defined as uncaused, morally good, all powerful, all knowing, personal, the prime/first mover" (see Round 1). Nothing in this definition allows God to compromise the moral goodness of the world merely to preserve people's ability to do evil. Perhaps adding the words "whimiscal" or "game-playing" would assist.

Now, while the debate is not about the biblical God, allow me to throw in an interesting point. If moral goodness prevents the ability to choose between right and wrong and if the ability to choose between right and wrong is essential to a morally good world, would this mean that souls in "heaven" (whatever version of heaven we choose; let's not get bogged down in denominations here) lack free will? Or do they still commit evil acts whilst in heaven? If they do not then obviously they can't choose between right and wrong. Does this make them defective?

In conclusion to this section of the argument, the "free will" excuse is just that; an excuse. It has been used and abused by apologists worldwide for centuries and yet it does not answer the problem. A morally good being will make a morally good world. And a morally good world is a world in which evil things do not happen. In addition, the very proposition of the existence of a morally good god admits that there is nothing defective in an agent who is incapable of committing evil acts.


2.Objective moral standards

Here my opponent is attacking my point 5 - that evil exists.

Firstly, he claims that I must commit myself to the position that objective ("absolute" would be a more appropriate philosophical term) moral standards exist.

Whilst I don't agree that absolute morality exists, I have no choice but to proceed from the basis that it does for the purposes of this debate. This is because my opponent has defined "god" as "morally good". If an absolute standard of morality did not exist, this definition would be unworkable.

I am obliged to attack God's existence via the Argument from Evil and not by any other means. If I were to say "absolute morality does not exist", I would be effectively arguing that a god as defined can't exist (because god is defined as morally good) and I would be avoiding the debate intended by my opponent.

Therefore, all I can say is that, assuming that an absolute morality exists, god is defined as being absolutely morally good and with this in mind we proceed to my 5 point syllogism presented in Round 1.

Secondly, my opponent attempts to call me out on my apparent concession (and as explained above, I had no choice but to make it) of the existence of absolute morality. He says the following:

"Now Pro can't refer too God as the objective moral standard, so then what is the objective moral standard that Pro is referring too when they make claims about the existence of objective evil ? As such it must be conceded that God could be the objective moral standard and thus God might exist."

This is disingenuous, to say the least. Here's what my opponent has done:

1. He proposes that God is defined as "morally good" and therefore locks me into a position where I have to proceed from the basis that absolute morality exists (as explained above).

2. When I do proceed from that basis, he attempts to claim that this amounts to a concession that God might exist.

This is reminiscent of St Anselm's Ontological Argument, which of course fails (nevermind why; this is a different debate).

And I, of course, disagree. God could only be the source of all morality if God exists in the first place. And if the Argument from Evil is correct, God cannot exist precisely because his failure to prevent evil is contrary to his claimed nature as a morally good god. In effect, either no god exists or there exists a god-like entity who is not a morally good entity and therefore doesn't meet the definition of god that my opponent chose for this debate; and hence is not a god.

Do I need to explain where absolute morality comes from? No, I do not. As stated above, I have been locked into this position by my opponent's definition of "god".

Moreover, since my opponent defined "god" as "morally good", he has implicitly conceded that such a standard exists and that it exists independently of God. This is because if God were the source of all morality, He could not be described as "morally good" as those words would have absolutely no meaning other than "with the moral characteristics of God". And of course saying that God is someone who has the moral characteristics of God would be meaningless and quite circular and could not possibly be intended by my opponent in his definition in Round 1. This means that my opponent himself agrees that, for the purposes of this debate, God is in fact not the source of all morality, although absolute morality does exist.

In conclusion, my forced concession of the existence of absolute morality does not in any way support the existence of a god.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Moral objectivism and Moral objective standards and Objective moral values

Pro says.... "Firstly, he claims that I must commit myself to the position that objective ("absolute" would be a more appropriate philosophical term) moral standards exist."

Pro mistakenly equates moral objectvisim with moral absolutism.

"Moral absolutism is not the same as moral universalism (also called moral objectivism). Universalism holds merely that what is right or wrong is independent of custom or opinion (as opposed to relativism), but not necessarily that what is right or wrong is independent of context or consequences (as in absolutism)" [1]

As William Craig says... "To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so. It is to say, for example, that Nazi anti-Semitism was morally wrong, even though the Nazis who carried out the Holocaust thought that it was good; and it would still be wrong even if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in exterminating or brainwashing everybody who disagreed with them." [2]

--- Pro arguments rest on their being an objective moral standard ---

Pro does indeed commit to their being an objective moral standard existing, not because I say so but because Pro says such things as "Stop the evil (rape of a child) and therefore deprive the rapist of exercising a morally wrong act (in effect limit the rapist's free will);" & "God cannot exist precisely because his failure to prevent evil is contrary to his claimed nature as a morally good god."

How interesting, according to Pro the rape of children and God not preventing that rape are both objectively morally wrong. But how can the rapist and God not preventing the rape be objectively morally wrong if there is no objective moral standard ? It can't. Pro thinks that me pointing out assumptions that are based on THEIR argument is me some how acting unjustly.

As C.S Lewis has written in mere Christianity... "My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?... Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies" [3]

Pro tries to make them self a victim. Pro is claiming that I have some how acted wrongly, but how can I be acting wrongly if there is no moral standard ? And how can I be acting objectively wrong even committing these great injustice as Pro says unless there is an objective moral standard in the first place ?

I encourage Pro to give more examples of "evils" done by people, God and myself in order to show that their own arguments rests on the foundation that an objective moral standard exists.

God and The objective moral standard

With an objective moral standard established, I before made the claim that God COULD be that objective standard. My argument is as follows.

1) There is an objective moral standard
2) God could be that objective moral standard
3) Therefore God could exist

Now Pro could try and challenge premise 1, and deny that their is an objective moral standard, but then all Pro previous arguments that rest on their being an objective moral standard come crashing down.

Now maybe Pro could agree that an objective moral standard does exist, to maintain their previous arguments, but deny that God is that objective standard. If Pro does do this then they would have to provide justification why God CAN"T be that objective standard.

As such, it is possible that God is that objective standard and thus its possible that God exists.

Countering Point 3- whether an all-powerful god can stop all immoral things from happening at no cost.

I didn't claim ALL evil that is allowed, can be justified just because of a free will defense, I merely gave it as one example. I also claimed that another cost of stopping evil would be anything that would result in a world where evil exists which would not have been the case in the absence of evil existing. This was too refute the claim made by Pro that "3. An all-powerful agent can do anything it pleases. It COULD therefore stop all immoral things from happening and it could do so at no cost at all."

--- Does God have sufficient moral reason to allow evil too exist ? ---

Now I listened very carefully what Pro had to say, in order to prove that the existence of evil proves God does not exist.

Pro says "Let's then ask ourselves a question. Would a morally good entity allow evil things to happen simply for the sake of allowing agents to choose evil things? Of course it wouldn't."

Sorry, what was the reason again ? Is your rhetorical question an actual reason given ?

Pro says "And a state of affairs where it's possible to commit a an evil act is a less morally good state of affairs than a state of affairs where this is impossible. "

And the reason given to support this is what exactly ? Your own assertion ?

Pro says "I suggest that the action in (i) would be a morally better action than the inaction in (ii). An agent who prevents moral wrong is a morally better agent than one who doesn't"

So an agent who prevents moral wrong is better because you suggest that it is ?

Pro says "What's the moral good of preserving an immoral free will? Nothing."

Well you say so, so it must be true.

Pro says "A person who has the means to stop an evil and fails to do so only to say "Oh, but I wanted the evil-doer to exercise his free will" cannot be said to be acting in a morally good way"

Free will was only given as one example and is not used to justify EVERY evil that happens, having sufficient moral reason to allow evil is another.

If Pro argues that God and or a moral agent can never have sufficient moral reason to allow evil to exist, I look forward to Pro presenting a justification for this claim other than Pros own assertions.

The Emotional problem of evil

This debate is about the logical problem of evil, now there is indeed a emotional problem of evil as William Craig says "First, we must distinguish between the intellectual problem of evil and the emotional problem of evil. The intellectual problem of evil concerns how to give a rational explanation of how God and evil can co-exist. The emotional problem of evil concerns how to dissolve people’s emotional dislike of a God who would permit suffering" [4]

I concede that their is an emotional problem of evil, but that is not the debate topic at hand. In order for Pro to justify the claim that the existence of evil proves God does not exist, they must show the logical contradiction not an emotional one eg, God allows things to happen that I don't like thus God does not exist.

Summary

1) Pros arguments commit themselves to their being an objective moral standard.

2) God could be that objective moral standard and thus could exist.

3) Pros arguments about what is or isn't moral has no support other than their own assertions.

4) God could have sufficient moral reason for allowing evil.

5) An emotional problem does not prove a logical contradiction between the existence of evil and God existing.

I look forward too pros reply.

Sources

Lightkeeper

Pro


Moral objectivism and Moral objective standards and Objective moral values


My opponent has made a big point of the difference between “objective morality” and “absolute morality”. For the record, I should say that the two are closely related and that absolute morality is more relevant to theological arguments than is objective morality. Absolute morality is

“…ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. Thus, actions are inherently moral or immoral, regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the actions. It holds that morals are inherent in the laws of the universe, the nature of humanity, the will of God or some other fundamental source.”
Source: http://www.philosophybasics.com...

By contrast, moral objectivism holds

“…. that the truth or falsity of moral judgments does not depend upon the beliefs or feelings of any person or group of persons, and that they describe (or fail to describe) a mind-independent reality. Therefore, certain acts are objectively right or wrong, independent of human opinion.”
Source: Ibid (as above)

The two positions are very close to each other (and absolutism is a sub-species of objectivism) and the difference is not relevant to the debate.

Now, where does this leave us? Well, either there is an objective morality or there is not. Let’s consider both propositions in turn:
  1. There is an objective morality

    If there is an objective morality then we should just agree that evil exists. But for the record:

    i) “Honour killings” occur and some of those who commit them get punished
    ii) “Honour killings” are either morally good or bad (evil)
    iii) If they are morally good then punishing those who commit them (or preventing them) is evil
    iv) If they are morally bad then committing them is evil

    One way or another, an evil act is being committed (either by preventing/punishing a morally good act or by committing a morally bad act in the first place). Therefore, evil exists.

  2. There is no objective morality

    In this case, morality is relative and it is based on individual or group or cultural beliefs. What is morally good to some is morally bad (evil) to others.

    Does evil exist? Yes, it does exist. Various people define various acts to be evil. Since there is no objective standard to tell us what acts are evil, an act that is believed by someone to be an evil act, is an evil act by that person’s standards.

Where this leads is that it does not matter whether we accept that there exists objective morality. One way or the other, evil exists and therefore Point 5 in my original argument stands untouched.


God and The objective moral standard

Now my opponent makes the following argument:

“1) There is an objective moral standard
2) God could be that objective moral standard
3) Therefore God could exist”

Firstly, let me point out that this is a red herring. It is not relevant to the Argument from Evil and I can’t help but wonder whether my opponent is acting in good faith (something he himself insisted on in Round 1).

Secondly, the argument above fails in any event. My opponent has not provided any argumentation for his premise (2). His argument holds as much water as the following:

1) The sun exists
2) The sun could have been vomited by Bumba
3) Therefore Bumba could exist

(African Creation Myths: http://www.mythome.org...)

It would seem that (if we accept my opponent’s reasoning) anyone who claims the existence of the sun automatically admits the possibility of the existence of Bumba. This is, of course, false. By admitting the existence of the sun one may, at the most, admit the existence of something that caused the sun, not any specific cause.

But there is a further problem with the above argument, namely it cannot succeed unless the Argument from Evil is defeated in the first place.

Sure, assuming that morality is objective, God could be the source of morality, unless we can show that God cannot exist, and that question depends on the outcome of this very debate! God is not (by any stretch of the imagination) the only source of morality proposed by Absolute Moralists. Other claims include
laws of the universe, the nature of humanity […] some other fundamental source.”
http://www.philosophybasics.com...


Whether an all-powerful god can stop all immoral things from happening at no cost.

My opponent now says that I haven’t argued sufficiently about God’s ability to stop evil.

My central argument (although I did put it in a messy way) was that a world where morally wrong things don’t occur is a morally better world than a world where they do occur. My opponent says that I haven’t supported this. But the statement is a truism. It’s the same as saying that a room where there’s more light is a brighter room than a room with less light.

Morality (in the sense of being moral) is defined as “1. the quality of being moral” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com...).

Is a more moral world more moral than a less moral world? The answer, of course, must be “yes”. Again, this is a truism.

Morality (in the sense of a system) is a system of “right and wrong” (Ibid). It’s a system of what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Therefore, things that are morally right must be more desirable to morally good beings than things that are morally wrong.


A morally good agent must desire a morally good world. Note that my opponent has never taken issue with this contention (my point 2 in R1).

I then say that an all-powerful agent must also have the means of achieving a morally good world. All-powerful agents are not limited in their power.

Now, let’s consider the attributes that my opponent has given to God in R1:

Uncaused – this has nothing to do with evil

morally good – as argued previously (and unchallenged by my opponent), a morally good agent must have in its nature a desire that no immoral things should happen (my point 2 in R1).

all powerful – on its face, this has nothing to do with evil. However, it does bear on my argument that God would be able to do anything He pleases (as long as it’s logically possible)

all knowing – again, this does not bear on evil

personal - irrelevant

the prime/first mover – this has nothing to do with evil

From all these attributes, the only one that bears on any desire that God might have is “morally good”. All others focus on God’s non-normative attributes and abilities.

Therefore, the only thing that we may say God seeks is that the world should be morally good. And a morally good world is a world where no immoral (evil) things happen (truism).

Since, by definition, there is nothing that God seeks other than a morally good world, there can’t be anything more important to Him than a morally good world. And creating a morally good world is a walk in the park for an omnipotent entity.

Now, perhaps there’s something my opponent has not told us about God’s nature in the way he defined “god”. But certainly, based on the definition of “god” he has provided, the only thing that God can seek is a morally good world. A world populated by morally good agents would be the most morally good world possible (as no evil things would happen in such a world).

Conclusion:


1. Whether or not morality is objective, evil exists (and if there isn’t, God -as defined - cannot exist).

2. A god, as defined (R1) can’t seek anything else than a morally good world.

3. A morally good world is achievable for an all-powerful entity by creating morally good agents.

4. Since this is not the world we have, God (as defined) does not exist.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

Pro says "Does evil exist? Yes, it does exist. Various people define various acts to be evil. Since there is no objective standard to tell us what acts are evil, an act that is believed by someone to be an evil act, is an evil act by that person’s standards."

Pro says "there is no objective standard to tell us what acts are evil"... but I did not present an argument what acts are objectively good or objectively evil, just that an objective moral standard exists or more to the point that Pros arguments imply an objective moral standard.

God and the objective moral standard

Pro presents a parody argument, trouble is it kinda back fired, because your parody argument didn't actually prove the impossibility of the sun being vomited by bumba. Pro says "It would seem that (if we accept my opponent’s reasoning) anyone who claims the existence of the sun automatically admits the possibility of the existence of Bumba. This is, of course, false"

You would have to provide more argument in your parody to prove that impossibility, you didn't as such your argument leaves open the option that bumba vomited the sun. Lack of evidence doesn't prove impossibility. If your going to claim something is impossible you need more than lack of evidence to back that up.

Pro says "But there is a further problem with the above argument, namely it cannot succeed unless the Argument from Evil is defeated in the first place."

No, it does succeed until it is proved that God does not exist, or God can't be the objective moral standard, until proven other wise its still a possibility.

As you say pro "Sure, assuming that morality is objective, God could be the source of morality, unless we can show that God cannot exist, "

Indeed Pro, but have you done so is the question ? Call me biased but I am going to say nope.

Next time you use a parody argument, where God is represented as bumba, you should actually have a parody argument that proves bumba and thus God doesn't exist.

Whether an all-powerful god can stop all immoral things from happening at no cost.

Pro says "My opponent now says that I havn't argued sufficiently about Gods ability to stop evil."

No, I argued that you have not shown God can't have sufficient moral justification for allowing evil to exist.

Countering Pros new argument

Part of Pros new argument says "2. A god, as defined (R1) can't seek anything else than a morally good world."

But seeking a morally good world is ambigous in this premise. Now maybe Pro means that by "seeking" pro really means God would not allow any evil to exist at all. But as I asked before why can't God have sufficent moral reason for allowing evil ?

How should one go about seeking a morally good world ? Why can't seeking a morally good world include the temporary existence of evil ? Again if Pro claims God can't have moral sufficent reason for allowing evil, then why not ?

Closing argument

1) Pros arguments implied and rested on the assumption that an objective moral standard exists.
2) Pro did not prove that God could not be that objective moral standard.
3) Pro did not prove that God can't have morally sufficient reason to allow evil to exist.

In conclusion, it has not being proven that the existence of evil proves that God does not exist.

I ask your vote go to the Con.

I thank Pro for participating in this debate.

I remind Pro that "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." as stated at the start.
Lightkeeper

Pro

I thank Con for his reply.

I will now briefly address his arguments.

Pro says "there is no objective standard to tell us what acts are evil"...but I did not present an argument what acts are objectively good or objectively evil'

The above is a Strawman. In other words, Con is presenting an argument I did not make and arguing against it. I did not claim that there is no objective standard to tell us what acts are evil. What I did was to argue from both points of view; from the existence of objective morality and from the non-existence. What Con is selectively equoting above is part of my argument in the section that assumes non-existence of objective morality. I also did not claim that Con presented any argument about what is objectively good or evil. That question is not even relevant.


'You would have to provide more argument in your parody to prove that impossibility, you didn't as such your argument leaves open the option that bumba vomited the sun. Lack of evidence doesn't prove impossibility. If your going to claim something is impossible you need more than lack of evidence to back that up.'

Again, this is a misdirection. My argument was that the fact of existence of anything (morality, sun, universe) does not of itself admit the possibility of any specific conceivable cause of it. And I stand by that. The most one can say is that "if objective morality exists then there must be a cause of it" .



'No, it does succeed until it is proved that God does not exist, or God can't be the objective moral standard, until proven other wise its still a possibility.'

I disagree for the reason already presented above. In effect Con's "objective morality makes god possible" argument is a red herring. Either the argument from evil is correct and God can't be the cause of morality or the argument from evil is incorrect, in which case I lose the debate in any event. Thus, Con's claim is irrelevant. It does not bear on the subject of the debate at all.



"Indeed Pro, but have you done so is the question ? Call me biased but I am going to say nope"

What I did with the question is to show that it's irrelevant to the debate and it presents circular reasoning. If the Argument from Evil is successful then God cannot be the source of morality because God cannot exist. And, as I have stated previously, there are many proposed sources of objective morality (proposed by objective moralists, that is).



'Next time you use a parody argument, where God is represented as bumba, you should actually have a parody argument that proves bumba and thus God doesn't exist.'

FIrstly, the Bumba argument was not a parody argument. The argument followed exactly the same line of reasoning as Con's. What's more, Bumba is not a contrived entity, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster or a Pink Invisible Elephant in the corner of my room. Bumba is a deity that people actually believe in. There is no parody in my argument.

Secondly, I don't need to disprove anything in that section of the argument. As I stated above, my opponent's attempt at proving a possibility of a god is (apart from being irrational) irrelevant. It has no bearing on the debate.



'But seeking a morally good world is ambigous in this premise. Now maybe Pro means that by "seeking" pro really means God would not allow any evil to exist at all. But as I asked before why can't God have sufficent moral reason for allowing evil ?'

I have answered this. Again, a world in which evil exists is a less morally good world than a world in which evil does not exist (it's a truism). A morally good agent must wish for the most morally good possible world. And the most morally good possible world is a world in which there is no evil.



'How should one go about seeking a morally good world ? Why can't seeking a morally good world include the temporary existence of evil ? Again if Pro claims God can't have moral sufficent reason for allowing evil, then why not ?'

I have already demonstrated that it is self-evident (it's a truism) that a perfectly moral world (at all times) is a more moral world than a world that is not perfectly moral. Again consider two worlds:

1. A world that's temporarily immoral and then completely moral;

2. A world that is completely moral at all times.

Clearly, the latter world is (by definition) more moral than the former. And yet, that's not the world we have. If a morally good omnipotent god existed, he/she/it could have created a world populated by morally good agents; a world that would be perfectly moral. That's not the world we have, because evil exists. Therefore, there can't exist such a god.


Con's closing argument

'1) Pros arguments implied and rested on the assumption that an objective moral standard exists.'

Again, no. Con's definition of a god (defined as "morally good") necessitated the existence of objective morality. All I did was to adopt it. I was locked into it and had no choice in the matter. That said, my argument succeeds whether or not there is objective morality. That's because evil exists in either case, as shown in Round 3.

'2) Pro did not prove that God could not be that objective moral standard.'

Yes, I did prove that. God (as defined by Con) cannot exist and therefore such a god cannot be the source of any objective morality. And why cannot such a god exist? Because a morally good god would necessarily want a world that is morally good. And an omnipotent god could create such a world by populating it with morally good agents. And that's not what has taken place. Hence, a morally good and all-powerful god does not exist. And a non-existing entity cannot be the source of objective morality.


'3) Pro did not prove that God can't have morally sufficient reason to allow evil to exist.'

Again, I did. A morally good entity must seek to maximise moral goodness. And moral goodness is not maximised by creating a world where (even temporary) evil exist.

Imagine a doctor who wants to cut cure you of a disease so that you don't suffer pain. The doctor can do this painlessly (by using anasthetic) or he can perform a very painful procedure instead. A doctor who wants to minimise pain will choose the former. By the same token, if a morally good god existed, it could have created a morally good world with no evil at all.


Conclusion

I have demonstrated that a god as defined would necessarily want to minimise evil. An all-powerful god would also be able to minimise evil. Evil is not minimised. Therefore such a god cannot exist.

This argument applies whether or not there is an objective morality. Evil exists in either case, as shown in Round 3.

The assumption of objective morality does not defeat the argument by magically making God possible. Con's argument in this regard is irrelevant. It would carry some water if a god were the only arguable source of objective morality. But that's not the case. I have shown that there are a number of alternatives proposed by moral objectivists.

Finally, an entity whose one and only normative attribute is moral goodness (and Con defined God in just such a way) cannot want anything more than a morally good world. This is self-evident and it holds true without having to consider what particular things are morally good or morally bad. And the morally best world is a world populated by entities that are morally identical to the creator; a world populated by morally good entities.

Since the world we have is not a morally good world (evil exists), it can't have been created by a morally good and all-powerful god, such as defined by Con in R1.

Thank you for this debate.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by unitedandy 5 years ago
unitedandy
I'd be more than happy to take this if it allowed me to use the evidential problem of suffering. If it's a defence of the logical problem of evil, then I wouldn't really support it.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Is God an omni-max entity?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by mecap 5 years ago
mecap
IllegalcombatantLightkeeperTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Accepting a premise for the sake of argument does not mean that the opponent actually believes the premise is true... Pro made that clear several times. The premise can be accepted in order to show that even if the premise is true, the conclusion is false.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
IllegalcombatantLightkeeperTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con, you can not just say free will allows evil and stop there, though the argument that you can not claim evil without God was clever so only a one point win to Pro