The Instigator
Mr_Jack_Nixon
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
popculturepooka
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

If an omnipotent, omnicient, and omni-benevolent God can exist with evil.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,663 times Debate No: 11958
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (8)

 

Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

As Neg in a religious debate, I always allow the Pro to present his/her arguments first. The premise of this debate refers mostly to the Christian God, which is said to be all good, all knowing, and all powerful. This point can be contested as to the meanings of omnipotent, omnicient, and omni-benevolent. Also, the meaning of evil can be contested. The whole resolution can be contested in meaning. I leave such variety, as this is a philosophy debate mostly. The form presented does not matter, but I would like an experienced, serious debater to accept this debate. So I now leave it to the Aff to prove the resolution. Thank you.
popculturepooka

Pro

==========
Introduction
==========

Thanks to Mr_Jack_Nixon for the opportunity to debate a very interesting topic.

I'd first like to make the resolution clear - I presume Con is going to argue that God cannot exist with evil so what he is claiming is that the existence of God is incompatible with existence of evil.

So if I can prove that the existence of God is compatible with evil (no matter how implausible it may seem to some readers) I have fulfilled my share of the burden of proof.

==========
The Problem of Evil
==========

Again, I'd like to point out by the way the resolution is worded it seems as if Con is committed to *logical* problem of evil and NOT the *evidential* problem of evil. This is may seem trivial to point this out but it's not. The logical problem of evil aims to be a disproof of a God conceived of as all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing because it claims that the existence of any evil whatsoever is incompatible with God's existence. God could not exist at all if the logical problem of evil succeeds.

If my opponent chooses to take the *evidential* route to the problem of evil he has already conceded the debate because the evidential problem of evil concedes that God's existence is compatible with evil - just that God's existence is rendered very, very, very unlikely if the argument succeeds.

So, I will assume until otherwise corrected that Con is propounding the logical problem of evil.

What is the logical problem of evil? It was most admirably stated by Epicurus over 2000 years ago (according to David Hume): ""Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?""

And more recently the late philosopher J.L. Mackie claimed that one or more of these statements must be false; that all of them cannot be true at the same time:

(1) God is omnipotent (that is, all-powerful).
(2) God is omniscient (that is, all-knowing).
(3) God is perfectly good.
(4) Evil exists. [2]

Anybody can see that a Christian, at least an orthodox one, will want to affirm all 4 statements as true but it seems as if per Epicurus' quote that this cannot be. If a Christian were to deny any of the of the first 3 statements they would be admitting that God (as defined in this debate) does not exist. And no Christian could deny that real, actual evil exists (say in the acts of the Nazis in regards to Holocaust) even if it is just the "privation" of good.

It seems like the Christian has a problem here.

==========
The Free Will Defense
==========

But hold on! There is a way the Christian can affirm all the 4 statements and it is just by adding one more statement to the 4.

(5) There is a morally sufficient reason that God has for allowing evil.

What *COULD* (emphasis on *could* because that is all that is needed to defeat the logical problem of evil) this morally sufficient reason for God allowing evil be? Free will. And thanks to Alvin Plantinga there is a nice exposition of this defense.

It goes that free will is a good of the highest order and God, being good, decided to bestow his creations with free will. But, the thing is, free will necessitates that choice is possible; not only that but choice between genuine alternatives - good and evil.

This means that God values free will (because it is an extremely powerful good) in moral agents so much that he is willing to allow the existence of evil because it is unfortunate consequence of non omni-benevolent creatures endowed with free will.

This also means that an all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing God couldn't have been truly good if he didn't create his creations with anything less than the capacity to choose evil because the free will that they will sometimes used to choose evil actions is a greater good than the evil they might do. And more importantly, in the context of this debate, it means that God can exist with evil.

I could go into more detail this round but I shall await Con's rebuttals first in order to clarify what points I should be arguing for and against.

I turn it over to Con now.

==========
Sources
==========

[1] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Alright. I thank my opponent for his clear and concise argument, as it is rare such a neat, organized one is shown. My opponent has made some seemingly valid arguments, and it is now my duty, as a debater and skeptic, to disprove them. So I will now go through the arguments, and show them faulty.

First of all, my opponent points out that this argument can go TWO ways, one logical, and the other evidential. I am not quite sure what my opponent exactly means by evidential, or by how it inherently disproves my side of the argument. If my opponent could be more clear on this part, I'm sure an even cleaner debate will result. So opponent: please clarify.

But now onto the argument that my opponent spent the most time on, the logical argument of how an all knowing, all powerful, and all good God could possibly exist with evil. My opponent seemed to understand the Epicurian approach on the argument, and I will, once again, show it here just as a re-clarification.

Is God able to and willing to prevent evil? - It seems not, as evil exists.
So God is either not omnipotent [if he is not able] or he is not all-good [if he is not able].
This leaves that perhaps he is able and willing, but simply ignorant of the fact evil exists. This is, though, trumped by the fact that he is omnicient. Given this logic, it is impossible for the God described to exist.

Now, my opponent added an extra little bit of information in the mix to try and counter this logic. He stated that God has a *moral reason* to allow evil to occur. My opponent stated that the reason was that *free will* was of the utmost good, and that counters all evil in terms of morality.

This is the major flaw in my opponent's argument. He assumes that free will is good enough to be worth all evil, or that it is even good at all. How is free will a good thing? I'll provide an example. Say you have a pet guinea pig that you keep in a cage in your house. It obviously does not have free will (as it is [probably] forced to stay in the cage). Yet, it survives so much better in the cage than being free. In the cage it gets food, exercise, (if the owner is kind) a playmate, a shelter, and any other thing it needs to live, along with many other luxuries it does not need.

Now imagine what would happen if this guinea pig was allowed free will. It could easily will to roam free. When the guinea pig got out of the cage, it would no longer have food or water to survive. It would not have a guaranteed shelter, and it would constantly be in danger of something (whether is be the cat or the vacuum). Also, as it does not have the intelligence to go back inside, it will probably have a less happy, shorter, and more dangerous life rather than the luxurious one it had without free will. So it does not seem even close to logical that free will is of the greatest good, or good at all; and it *certainly* does not provide a moral reason to allow for the existence of evil.

My opponent *could* of course say that God has a reason that is not known to us that sufficiently back up his reasoning for allowing evil. But the Christian Bible states that we are created in the image of God. This should certainly mean we would share the same moral system as Him, or at least something that resembles it. It would take a completely alien moral compass to think that free will is a moral thing. If my opponent says that He does have a completely different moral compass, than this shows that we are not in his image, and the Christian God still cannot exist.

*free will*

While it is simple to show that free will is evil, it should also be shown that the concept of free will is quite flawed in itself. True free will does not seem to even exist. This may *seem* like a contradiction when paired with my previous argument, but it really isn't as there are different levels of 'free will'. In the guinea pig example, I showed two completely different levels of free will, and how the more [free will] it seems we have, the less good it is for us. But, it seems there is no *actual* point where free will completely and wholly exists.

This may seem like a technicality; like I am being much to literal with the concept of free will. But if God was the one who made it, and he is all knowing and powerful, he would not have allowed for imperfection of the concept. Saying this, if God was real, even at a technical level free will should still stand (which it doesn't).

Now what do I mean when I say free will can't ever be achieved? I mean that every will cannot be accomplished by laws God supposedly created. I don't mean it's not free will when little Timmy doesn't get the 20 lbs. of chocolate he wants for Christmas, as this is one humans 'free will' against another's. The concept of free will would seem to stand in this situation. But here is one where it won't.

Say my cat dies and I want to go back and see it again, just to see it. If I willed to go back in time, not being able to affect it, and only that which I've seen before, this would not be evil at all. I could not see anything I wasn't supposed to (eg. secret documents) as it's only things I've seen before. I also would be able to change anything, so I couldn't mess up the future. So God could allow me the desire of going back in time without allowing any evil to occur. So why is it I can't go back in time right now? Either A) God isn't able to let me. [disproves God.] Or B) God is not willing to let me go back in time [making him evil whilst disproving him]. So you can see that the seemingly good idea of free will just points back to the very same Epicurian logic that we started out with.

So, in summary, my opponent has presented an argument with false premises [the idea that free will is good]. Any logical argument with a false premise means the result is also untrue. It seems my opponent did not refute the original premises in the argument I presented, meaning it must stand. I have shown, also, that the whole concept my opponent presents (supposedly set by God) is not possible, and in the ends only points back to my original argument. My opponent has not presented any other arguments, so my assertion that God can't exist still stands. I look forward to the next round, and hope it will be another clear, concise argument. Speaking of clear and concise, I apologize if there were mistakes grammatically or spelling wise in this rebuttal. It is late (12 AM) and I'm not going to read back over it. I await my opponent's response avidly, Good night.
popculturepooka

Pro

Thanks to Con for the response. I apologize because this round is not as in-depth as I would like because I have a limited amount of time to write it. I will endeavor to make up for it in the next round.

First off, the evidential problem of evil is a mere inductive argument against God's existence while the logical problem of evil is a deductive argument against God's existence. What this means is that with the logical problem of evil - if the premises can be ascertained - that it is pretty much certain that God could not exist because God would be logically incompatible with the existence of evil and I don't think it needs to be said that things with logically contradictory incompatibilities cannot exist. The evidential problem of evil differs from the logical problem of evil in that the conclusion of the argument is that it is very unlikely that God exists taking into account certain "gratuitous" evils. The evidential problem of evil DOES NOT strive prove that God is incompatible with the existence of gratuitous evils - it only tries to prove that the existence of gratuitous evil effectively lowers God's probability so low that the "hypothesis" of God can be disregarded. Hypothetically, it's logically possible that that a car come hurtling from outer pace and land in the middle of the room but the chances of that happening are so small it is effectively a non-issue. So, reiterating, if my opponent decides to go with the evidential problem of evil he is conceding that it is LOGICALLY POSSIBLE that God exist with evil. It seems as if Con is not going with that approach so I will not broach the subject any further.

Second, I think my opponent doesn't realize the difficulty of his position and I would like to draw out what my opponent is committing himself to by propounding the logical problem of evil. What he must do is prove that it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE that God exist with evil; he must that it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE that God have morally sufficient reasons for allowing evils. That is an extremely tough task and, from my perspective, his chances are dim indeed as it is already hard to prove non-obvious (an obvious logical incompatibility would be a square circle) logical incompatibilities and it would it will be even doubly hard in this situation in that it is plausibly thought that there are some things of God's nature we cannot understand so proving that a God not limited by finiteness like us humans are can't possibly have any reasons for allowing evil seems a bit preposterous to me. All I must do I must do to fulfill my share of the burden of proof is propound a logically possible reason that God could have for allowing. Heck, it's logically possible that God allows evil because he likes ducks. :) I agree, that sounds preposterous and absurd to even myself so I ill stick with my original reason for refuting the logical problem of evil.

=========
The Free Will Defense
=========

Con asks what is intrinsically good about free will but to even ask to question seems to me be absurd. It is often said of the God we are talking about that he created his creations, in this context humans, out of love. When you reflect on what the notion of genuine or true love is I think it becomes obvious that free will is intrinsically good. Suppose God created creatures that only "loved" and obeyed God because of the simple reason that he "programmed" them to do so - would that be true love or would that be some type of trivial affectation the humans shared for God? In a sense humans would just be robots and I do not think it is possible to enter n a true loving relationship with an automaton that only "loves" God back because they are programmed that way. And let's think of another situation to make this even clearer: let's assume that there was a way to force someone you love to "love" you (maybe through some magical potion ala Harry Potter). Would that be true love? And I think most people would agree that if you truly loved a person you wouldn't want to force them "love" you back - even if it hurts you deeply that they don't reciprocate the love back. I contend that it is much the same situation with God.

As for the second part of Con's argument I do not think it all that implausible to suppose that God giving humans the option to love him or not love him is not an intrinsic good. Indeed, it probably would be a moral EVIL if God have not gave humans free will and made automatons that only do their filial duty because he programmed them that way. It would be absurd to say that you can enter in a genuine loving relationship with a robot. I think most people would choose the life of a free man (if given the choice) with all its' dangers then the life of a comfortable slave. That applies to Con's guinea pig analogy.

I do contend that humans do have an imagio dei (image of God) which is why some if not many things seems inherently wrong to us, like, say, torturing babies for fun but that is neither here nor there. The situation with God and human morality doesn't need to be conceived as an "either-or" relationship. It doesn't need to be either we have complete knowledge of all God's moral principles or we have no knowledge of God's moral principles. I say we can and do have partial knowledge and at least some of our moral compass can see the value of free will.

Regarding Con's final point about different "levels" of free will ; I think I understand it and I apologize if I misconstrue it. It seems Con has a conception of free will that no one ever uses. This free will defense assumes the libertarian conception of free will. [1] What this conception of free will is is this: "Libertarianism holds onto a concept of free will that requires the individual to be able to take more than one possible course of action under a given set of circumstances, this viewpoint is based on the idea that nothing is determined". [2] That is all that it entails. The fact that I may want to fly but my physical constitution prevents me from doing so is no impugnment on my free will. I don't see why the fact that you can't do things that are logically or physically impossible is a count against free will. Con seems to think that because God won't "let" him go back into the past to see his cat God must not exist borders on the absurd. First, in any case, I could offer the same response. God could have a morally sufficient reason for not allowing Con to travel back into the past to see his cat. The more likely reason is that it's just not possible given your present circumstances.

Plus, it might even be that time travel is impossible rendering Con's argument incoherent. [3] But this is not the "time" to discuss philosophy of time. :)

Tying this all back in to my main point - Con has not provided to the slightest reason to think that it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE that free will be the morally sufficient reason that God allows the existence of evil. And I have provided a logically possible reason as to why God could allow the existence of evil. I think my burden of proof has been satisfied and coherently defended up until now.

I await Con's response.

=========
Sources
=========

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] Ibid
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

I thank my opponent for his response, and I will jump straight into the arguments.

First, my opponent discussed how an evidential approach to the problem of evil would lead me to concede the point. While I did not understand my opponent's argument, he stated it was irrelevant as I was not debating that view. So because this is no longer a point of contention there is no reason it should be mentioned again. Though, I would like to comment on one of my opponent's assumption. My opponent assumed that for something to be logical, it must be 100% proved. This is not quite true, as logic often is taking the place of the inability to prove something 100%. I will use my opponent's example: I can decide (given the current state of things) that a car will not be pulled out of space and land in my house once a week every week at exactly the same time. I decide this logically because, while there is still a chance it can happen, the evidence shows the probability of it happening so incredibly unlikely. So it is not necessary to 100% prove something for it to be logical.

Given the previous argument and my opponent's second paragraph, I do not have to show it is logically IMPOSSIBLE, but rather that it is EXTREMELY IMPROBABLE. I understand my opponent may find this incredibly hard for me to do, but this is because of his belief on the matter. He believes the resolution true, so he sees that proving it false will be near impossible. I, on the other hand, see that this resolution is false so I believe my opponent is the one who will have difficulty proving his side. Now about my opponent's statement that it is logically possible god allows evil because he likes ducks. This is true. But the point is not that it's possible, it's that it is EXTREMELY improbable. The likely hood is SO improbable, that we can safely assume it is false. My opponent goes by the same premise as I, he must show the likely hood of this resolution being true extremely high, but not prove it with 100% deniable facts.

*The Free Will Defense*

My opponent states that free will is good and justified because he believes it to be so. In his mind, it is justified and obvious. This is a logical fallacy, though. Just because someone believes something to be so, does not make it true. Hitler believed that Jews had no value, and organized the killings of over 6 million of them. He BELIEVED that this was right. The problem was that he had no evidence showing that the Jews deserved this at all. My opponent makes the same mistake as Hitler, he assumes that he is right on his own beliefs, but does not incorporate general logic (that could apply to anyone) or evidence. So my opponent has an obligation to prove why free will is intrinsically good, or else we must take my reasoning as the truth. My opponent also says it is right because God could not love a 'robot'. It might be true it would be illogical to love a robot, but this does not justify how it would make God omni-benevolent. What my opponent is really saying is that God gave us free will for HIS OWN SATISFACTION. It would be good for HIM but not for US. So God could not have made free will and still be omni-benevolent.

If we did not have the option to be a free person, then we would all be ignorant, but COMPLETELY HAPPY slaves. Yes, it sounds cruel, but this is only because we have experienced freedom. But if the idea of freedom never came into our minds, we would be of the utmost happy, as there would be no evil. So my opponent can't show evil can exist with God, therefore this still flows to me.

My opponent says that we have the ability to see free will is moral, and that God showed us this. Well it seems I've not seen these amazing reasons for free will, so if my opponent will show them to me as to EXACTLY WHY free will is justified, I will happily agree with him.

Regarding my opponent's argument regarding my cat, he says God allowing me to go back in time and see my cat is absurd. But what is so absurd about seeing my cat? What evil will this cause? And then my opponent says it's because 'IT'S NOT POSSIBLE'. So the truth comes out. Through God, it is IMPOSSIBLE to go back in time. Wait, what? God can't let me go back. It's impossible for God. Well this must mean God is NOT omnipotent. It seems my opponent can only back up his arguments for each individual attribute by violating another. In this point, my opponent justifies evil by saying God doesn't have the power to do something. [Breaking the attribute of omnipotence.]

My opponent says that I have not shown why it is impossible to show this resolution false. Yet, I have gone through and shown how in EVER SINGLE ARGUMENT my opponent is forced to violate one of the resolution's terms to make his point. Now, I am not insulting the debater, as I understand the fact that it is impossible to prove something false. I have won this round, because I have refuted all of my opponent's arguments, and have adequately disproved my opponent's ONLY point of contention against this resolution ---- free will.

I thank my opponent for this most enlightening round, and I look forward to the next round. Thank you.
popculturepooka

Pro

Thanks to Con. I'm going to take a different route and provide direct responses to what Con says as it seems necessary. There really isn't much to respond to.

"My opponent assumed that for something to be logical, it must be 100% proved. This is not quite true, as logic often is taking the place of the inability to prove something 100%."

My opponent is equivocating a bit on the term logical. We use "logical" in an every day sense like "If I have a bad back and aching feet and I have to get some place in a hurry it'd be logical to take my car to get there instead of walking." This is how Con is using it. But that is at odds with the argument he is using; the "logical" in the logical problem of evil refers to the deductive premises of the argument. A deductive argument guarantees the truth of it's conclusion if it is valid and sound, so, yes, in a way you can 100% prove something. Or near enough.

Con: "Given the previous argument and my opponent's second paragraph, I do not have to show it is logically IMPOSSIBLE, but rather that it is EXTREMELY IMPROBABLE.

Actually, Con does have to show it is logically impossible for God to exist with evil not merely "extremely improbable" and I made sure to establish that from my very first round with my distinction between the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. Con is conflating the two arguments which are wholly distinct from each other.

Note how Con backtracks from his earlier claim. In round 2 Con states: "Is God able to and willing to prevent evil? - It seems not, as evil exists. So God is either not omnipotent [if he is not able] or he is not all-good [if he is not able].
This leaves that perhaps he is able and willing, but simply ignorant of the fact evil exists. This is, though, trumped by the fact that he is omniscient. Given this logic,**IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE GOD DESCRIBED TO EXIST**. [emphasis added by me]"

Now Con is claiming that he only has to prove God to be extremely improbable with respect to the existence of evil. What Con has done has illicitly switched from the *logical* problem of evil to the *evidential* problem of evil. This is unacceptable. Furthermore, as I explained in the very first round, switching to the evidential problem of evil leads Con to concede the debate because he is conceding that God can exist with evil when his argument suggests the opposite.

Con has left himself in a dilemma. He can try to prove that free will is logically impossible as a morally sufficient reason that God has for allowing evil which I suspect he cannot do (no knock on Con's intelligence; the most brilliant of atheist philosophers struggle to do it too and most have given it up as futile) or he can switch to the evidential problem of evil which already concedes that God can exist with evil. Con's argument (Epicurus' s argument, rather) is set up as a deductive logical argument where if the premises are true then the conclusion *necessarily* follows meaning that the conclusion is certain. In a way, deductive logical arguments are just like mathematical proofs in that the conclusion or result/output is guaranteed if we have the right input.

Here is Con's basic argument in deductive form:

(1) If there is a God who is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent evil would not exist.
(2) Evil exists.
(3) Therefore God does not exist.

That is the logical problem of evil in a nutshell and if the premises are true then the conclusion follows with certainty. If one accepts the premises but not the conclusion then, point blank, they are being irrational. What the argument here is claiming is that God CANNOT exist with evil; that God is LOGICALLY incompatible with evil. So, by implication, it MUST be LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE that God have any morally sufficient reason for allowing evil to exist. Con must show that the free will defense has a logical contradiction either inherent in it or there is a logical contradiction in asserting the free will defense with God. Con, who is advocating the *logical* problem of evil, has not done so; ergo, Con has lost the debate.

Con: "I understand my opponent may find this incredibly hard for me to do, but this is because of his belief on the matter."

It has nothing to do with me being Christian or not. It's a difficult task for anyone because proving that a being who is omniscient having reasons to allow evil is logically impossible is a tough task to say the least.

"My opponent states that free will is good and justified because he believes it to be so. In his mind, it is justified and obvious. This is a logical fallacy, though. Just because someone believes something to be so, does not make it true.

When did I say that me believing free will is intrinsically good makes it so? I actually gave reasons why. One of them being robots can't enter into genuine loving relationships and the God we are talking about certainly is concerned with loving his creations.
If we did not have the option to be a free person, then we would all be ignorant, but COMPLETELY HAPPY slaves. Yes, it sounds cruel, but this is only because we have experienced freedom. But if the idea of freedom never came into our minds, we would be of the utmost happy, as there would be no evil.

My opponent seemingly doesn't grasp my point. The free will defense has nothing to do with had humans never known freedom we could still be happy. I don't contend that. Ignorance can be bliss after all. What I'm contending is that had humans NOT known freedom that genuine loving relationships would be impossible and if God is concerned with actual love then God would have good reason to give humans free will. And free will (at least the kind I am talking about) entails that a agent be able to choose between alternatives (good and evil in this context).

"Well this must mean God is NOT omnipotent. It seems my opponent can only back up his arguments for each individual attribute by violating another. In this point, my opponent justifies evil by saying God doesn't have the power to do something. [Breaking the attribute of omnipotence.]"

To keep this short - God's omnipotence doesn't entail that God be able to actualize logically impossible states of affairs. Is this a limit to God's power? No. God's omnipotence simply means God can do all things POSSIBLE. Because things that are logically impossible aren't possible it follows they don't fall within the power of God. In fact they don't fall anywhere in existence or possible existence because logically impossible "things" can't exist in the first place.

"My opponent says that I have not shown why it is impossible to show this resolution false.

Correct.

"Yet, I have gone through and shown how in EVER SINGLE ARGUMENT my opponent is forced to violate one of the resolution's terms to make his point."

Con can't merely show that the free will defense is improbable; Con must show how it is logically impossible as a morally sufficient reason God would have for allowing evil as I have already explained.

"Now, I am not insulting the debater, as I understand the fact that it is impossible to prove something false. "

This is not really relevant but it is entirely to possible to prove something false. It's entirely possible to prove that 1 + 1 = 1 is false.
Debate Round No. 3
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Mr_Jack_Nixon forfeited this round.
popculturepooka

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeit the last round and I believe my points are still salient. Thanks for reading. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
"Or he could try to show that libertarian free will is logically impossible :P"

Yup.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
"He can try to prove that free will is logically impossible as a morally sufficient reason that God has for allowing evil which I suspect he cannot do (no knock on Con's intelligence; the most brilliant of atheist philosophers struggle to do it too and most have given it up as futile) or he can switch to the evidential problem of evil which already concedes that God can exist with evil."

Or he could try to show that libertarian free will is logically impossible :P
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Oops, thinking back on it I haven't read Pinker's stuff - I got him confused with Peter Singer for some reason.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Also:

"Second, "Love" is only a word that refers to a concept - specifically one that details various neurological going-ons in the brain. When you're "falling in love" or "love" someone, it's a description of the way your brain processes your relationship with that person, and the chemicals instigating emotions that your brain associates with them."

Uh...I'm not a materialist.

"You can't prove free will by saying "otherwise it wouldn't be love." This is a fluff answer when you consider what love actually is and refers to... PCP have you ever read any Steven Pinker? You should check out some of his books -- they're fantastic, and will help you avoid arguments like this in the future (specifically 'The Stuff of Thought' or other stuff where he talks about language + cognitive science)."

I wasn't trying to prove free will. I was making a case that it's logically possible that God exist with evil due to free will. Unless you want to argue that libertarian free will is logically impossible then there'd be a challenge here.

And, yes, I have read some of Pinker's stuff - not the things you have recommended though. I'll check them out sometime. I'm not particularly impressed with him, though.

"Overall though I don't think Con's arguments were sufficiently negated."

But they were, so...
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
- PCP's entire case rests on free will existing. He never proved in the debate that free will existed when Con challenged it; he simply said other philosophers had a hard time disproving it.

You realize that I don't have to prove that free will exists in the actual world, right? Only that it's logically possible that free will be a sufficient reason that God allow evil because PRO argued that God's existence (The 3 O God) is LOGICALLY INCOMPATIBLE with the existence of evil.

If free will is LOGICALLY POSSIBLE then I have sufficiently supported my case.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
- PCP's entire case rests on free will existing. He never proved in the debate that free will existed when Con challenged it; he simply said other philosophers had a hard time disproving it.

- "When you reflect on what the notion of genuine or true love is, I think it becomes obvious that free will is intrinsically good... It would be absurd to say that you can enter in a genuine loving relationship with a robot."

Hehe - I literally own a book called 'Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships' which essentially presents the thesis that this is in fact possible lol. Second, "Love" is only a word that refers to a concept - specifically one that details various neurological going-ons in the brain. When you're "falling in love" or "love" someone, it's a description of the way your brain processes your relationship with that person, and the chemicals instigating emotions that your brain associates with them. Therefore PCP's argument about why love necessitates free will is not really accurate.

You can't prove free will by saying "otherwise it wouldn't be love." This is a fluff answer when you consider what love actually is and refers to... PCP have you ever read any Steven Pinker? You should check out some of his books -- they're fantastic, and will help you avoid arguments like this in the future (specifically 'The Stuff of Thought' or other stuff where he talks about language + cognitive science).

PCP says, "Indeed, it probably would be a moral EVIL if God have not gave humans free will and made automatons that only do their filial duty because he programmed them that way." ... This wasn't proven at all though. I think the debate started out AWESOME but fizzled out, especially cuz of the forfeit; Con couldn't emphasize anything or draw a strong conclusion. Overall though I don't think Con's arguments were sufficiently negated. Considering my vote doesn't matter I feel okay casting it :p
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Nixon, this a great primer to the problem of evil.

http://plato.stanford.edu...

Sections 1.2 and 2 are particularly relevant to this particular debate.
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 7 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
When using logical argument's as complicated as this, I don't see how people are contented with the premise that God craves our sentience. If we can disprove the Bible, and all other such texts, then we have no way of knowing what God's intentions would be. How do we know he craves sentience, how do we even know sentience is a good thing?
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Kudos, phindelig!
Posted by phindegil 7 years ago
phindegil
GeoLaureate8 - I'm an agnostic, so I'm not exactly disagreeing with you. I just think you're oversimplifying incredibly complicated concepts: namely, God and Time. Have you ever read any CS Lewis? He argues that since God created time, he cannot be within it, so to speak; God doesn't see into the future, he is simply in both the present, past, and future at the same time . . . and Christians would argue that he has to let us screw-up because of free-will, because otherwise we wouldn't be sentient. Furthermore, the future cannot be fixed. According to quantum mechanics, behavior of basic particles is random and can only be guessed at statistically - even if you knew the position and velocity of every single thing in existence (which, incidentally, is impossible, according to the Uncertainty Principle), you could not predict the future. A God could not set everything in motion with only one outcome, if our knowledge of the universe is at all correct.
I apologize for being contentious, and I can't claim to understand much of all this, but I just thought that you seemed a bit to sure of your reasoning in an area where many smart people have spent their lives coming up with really complex, deep (or ridiculous) explanations. I think to discuss this area credibly, one first has to do a lot of research . . .
Of course, we're debating it, and asking questions and arguing should lead to knowledge! :)
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