The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
thatNerd
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Problem Of Evil Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,195 times Debate No: 102004
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

God is defined as the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent cause of all contingent being.

P1: If gratuitous suffering probably exists, then God probably does not exist

P2: Gratuitous suffering probably exists

C: Therefore, God probably does not exist

---

I will be arguing that the premises are most plausibly true; the first round is for acceptance.
thatNerd

Con

I accept your debate. I disagree with your first point and consequently disagree with your conclusion. I will base my argument on the idea of God I had when I was a Free-Thinking Deist.

When I was a Free-Thinking Deist, I believed God created the universe, which I believed was an extraordinary and benevolent act. I also believed God would not intervene in world events due to the consequences of supernatural intervention in a natural world. Although, I am now an atheist I still believe "The Problem of Evil" is not a sound argument.

As a Free-Thinker, I look forward to engaging in and learning from this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate; I hope to change his mind on the Problem of Evil.

-If Gratuitous Suffering Exists, God Probably Does Not Exist-

God is defined as omnibenevolent, which means all-good. No all-good being would allow utterly pointless suffering if this being could easily stop it or prevent it, as suffering without a point is something we all clearly acknowledge as bad; an all-good being would eliminate all states of affairs which are bad unless there was, of course, a morally sufficient reason to allow such a state of affairs. This premise is relatively uncontroversial and is held to by the majority of Atheists and Theists alike. As Theologian Howard Snyder notes:

"[O]n the face of it, the idea that God may well permit gratuitous evil is absurd. After all, if God can get what he wants without permitting some particular horror (or anything comparatively bad), why on Earth would he permit it?" - Howard Snyder [1]

As Theistic philosopher Stephen Wykstra notes:

"[I]f God exists, there is some actual (outweighing) good related... to every instance of suffering he allows." - Stephen Wykstra [1]

Essentially, the allowance of utterly pointless suffering is incompatible with God's pure goodness. Therefore, gratuitous suffering's probable existence would lead to God's probable non-existence.

-Gratuitous Suffering Probably Exists-

This is the controversial premise. However, on the face of it it seems justified prima facie. There certainly appears to be utterly pointless suffering. Consider a lightning bolt that strikes a tree that traps a man in a forest. He is far from anybody who could help him and he bleeds to death in horrible pain and agony. Without a doubt, similar situations like this have happened that do not appear to have any grand purpose at all. Similarly to how the appearance of the computer screen in front of me gives me justification to say that my computer screen probably exists, so the appearance of gratuitous suffering gives us justification for thinking gratuitous suffering probably exists; absent a defeater of course. Now there could be a God who has a good reason for apparent gratuitous suffering that we don't know about, making gratuitous suffering only apparent. Sure, this is possible, and there could also be a mad scientist who has our brains in vats making the external world we experience only apparent. Of course, without good reason to believe in such beings or to take them seriously; we are justified in affirming what strongly appears to be so, actually is so. Philosopher Bruce Russell makes a similar point:

"Suppose one grants that there is no reason to assume God exists. Assume, also, that, leaving the Problem of Evil aside, there is no reason to think he does not exist. Shouldn't we then suspend judgement about whether there is a God-justifying reason to his allowing all the suffering we see, not believe there isn't? No, because the hypothesis that there is no such good is a better explanation of why we fail to see one than the explanation that there is such a good which is hidden to us. Other things being equal, explanations which posit some hidden mechanism are never as good as those that do not. That is why we should believe that there is a real world outside us that is pretty much the way we think it is, not some evil demon causing the sensations that we think are caused by physical objects outside us." - Bruce Russell [3]

So without good reasons to take seriously the idea of beings making something seem "as if" something specific is true, the best explanation is that what seems to be true, is probably true. Therefore, the jump from "there appears to be gratuitous suffering" to "there probably is gratuitous suffering" is epistemologically justified.

However, I think we can do even better. Suppose there is a God who has morally sufficient reasons for allowing intense suffering that appears gratuitous that is beyond our ken. A morally sufficient reason would have to be that the suffering in question being allowed by God is either necessary for some greater good, or necessary to prevent some greater evil. Since even one instance of gratuitous suffering would disconfirm God's existence it follows that every instance of suffering that we see is necessary for some greater good, or to prevent some greater evil under Theism. With this prediction in place for Theism, it seems that if we see a child being raped we ought not intervene. Think about it, if God exists then there is a net positive to be gained by every instance of suffering and evil; it's part of God's plan. To intervene would be to cause net loss of goodness in the world which surely is a bad thing. Therefore, not only would it seem like there would be no good reason for a Theist to intervene upon seeing a child being molested and raped; there would be good reason not to. However, it seems intuitively obvious that we ought to intervene in such a situation if Moral Realism is true (which it would be if Theism is true). Thus, Theism entails a contradiction; we ought to intervene if a child gets raped (moral intuitions tell us so), but we ought not to intervene if a child gets raped (as intervening would stop a greater good or cause an even greater evil). Thus, we should reject the notion that there exists a God who has morally sufficient reasons for allowing all suffering and evil that exists. Philosopher Dean Stretton makes a similar point:

"God's existence is logically incompatible with the existence of evils that certain onlookers have a moral obligation to prevent. Since there clearly do exist evils that these onlookers have a moral obligation to prevent, it follows that God does not exist." - Dean Stretton [4]

It gets even worse than that, believe it or not. If God exists and has morally sufficient reasons for allowing the horror and suffering in the world, why don't us sufferers know what these reasons are? As Philosopher Austin Dacey notes:

"[W]e would be the first to know." - Austin Dacey

A good parent who is loving would explain to their child why he/ she allowed the child to suffer the pain of needle given for vaccination purposes. One might argue that we don't have the cognitive abilities to understand God's reasons, but that is nonsense. If God exists he is Omnipotent, and could expand our cognitive abilities as much as it was needed in order for us to understand his reasons. Why did God not explain to the Holocaust survivors why he allowed their horrific experiences even when they cried out to him looking for an explanation? The best explanation is that there is no God with morally sufficient reasons for why he allowed said suffering, because if there was, it seems plausible that he would comfort the victims of said suffering with knowledge of the reasons for said suffering based on his purely good and loving attributes.

Additionally, if E (an evil state of affairs) is necessary for G1 (a state of affairs entailing X amount of goodness, or entailing the lack of an even greater evil than E), then this puts into question God's Omnipotence and/ or Omnibenevolence. If God is Omnipotent then it seems plausible, prima facie, that he could increase the worlds goodness by X amount by use of G2 (a state of affairs lacking any E), as this appears logically possible, making the instantiation of E gratuitous as G1 is not needed for X amount of goodness, which would contradict God's Omnibenevolence.

Now, what about the free-will defense? I don't think it's a good response to the PoE, but if my opponent mentions it I will refute it in the next round.

---Sources---

[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...

[2] Wykstra, Stephen J. 1984 "The Humean Obstacle to Evidential Arguments from Suffering: On Avoiding the Evils of Appearance'"

[3] https://infidels.org...

[4] https://infidels.org...
thatNerd

Con

If God were to prevent all suffering then society would become less independent. For example, if God were to cure all cancer patients, not as many doctors would work on finding a cure and we would totally depend on God for healing. As for your example of a child being raped, God would want his followers to intervene and learn to help each other.
Going back to my beliefs I had as a Deist, I believe God created an autonomous universe which was designed to correct and better itself until its ultimate demise. Morality as a part of the universe should do the same. For example, if we see a person murdered in cold blood, we acknowledge that is wrong. We see that nothing was gained by his or her death but a cycle of hatred; the killer hating the victim, and the victim's friends hating the killer. As a result, we assert that murder out of cold blood is immoral. Therefore, Moral Realism does not have to exist if God exists because He would allow humanity to develop ideas on morality for themselves.
As a Deist, I believed God wanted us to learn how to alleviate our own suffering so that He does not have to step in literally lord over us. A part of this is having us realize for ourselves the source of our suffering and to develop ideas regarding morality that prevent suffering. For example, by teaching about the Holocaust, we are hopefully making it harder for another event similar to it from happening. Now people know to look out for actions which may lead to genocide and the deaths of innocent civilians.
Morality cannot exist without suffering. If no one ever suffered we would not need to create ideals that ensure society functions in a peaceful manner. However, a world of sentient life cannot exist without suffering. In his book "The Selfish Gene" Professor Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, explains that more behaviorally selfish species tend to outlive altruistic species and pass on their genes. Therefore humans by nature are bound to be less altruistic. This leads us to do things which we learn to see as immoral.

As a Deist, I never believed in sin, so I never thought the free-will defense was valid.

Sources:
Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press. 2006
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

---Introduction---

I thank my opponent for his response. He mentions a few theodicies, but they seem to fall short of the desired goal as theodicies generally do. As leading Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga notes:

"And here I must say that most attempts to explain why God permits evil - theodicies, as we may call them - strike me as tepid, shallow, and ultimately frivolous. Does evil provide us with an opportunity for spiritual growth, so this world can be seen as a vale of soul making? Perhaps some evils can be seen this way; but much leads to not growth but to apparent spiritual disaster. It is suggested that the existence of evil provides the opportunity for such goods as the display of mercy, sympathy, self-sacrifice in the service of others... Again, no doubt some evil can be seen this way... But much evil seems to elicit cruelty rather than sacrificial love. And neither of these suggestions, I think, takes with sufficient seriousness the sheer hideousness of some of the evils we see." - Alvin Plantinga [1]

---Independence---

First off, my argument is about gratuitous suffering (not necessarily all suffering), so my opponent seems to miss the mark right off the bat. Either way, my opponent states that if God were to end all suffering then we would become less independent and we wouldn't work together to look for a way to help ourselves which is good. Without cancer, for example, we wouldn't work to find a cure and would depend on God for healing. However, it's not clear how us being more independent justifies the horror that all the people who go through cancer have to experience. Imagine I had a needle filled with HIV and injected your child with the virus, also imagine that I had the cure, and also suppose I told you that I did this so you could figure out the cure for yourself so you wouldn't depend on me. That is utter madness. Similarly, it would be evil for God to create a world where people necessarily get cancer, hold back his divine healing; all so we could find the cure ourselves while our loved ones suffer in pain and agony. If this wasn't true, then we should be happy when one of our loved ones get cancer because it would give us a chance to find a cure; but of course we should not be happy when our loved ones get cancer. Philosopher Quentin Smith
makes a similar point:

"[I]t is a self-evidently false moral principle that the evil of an incurable disease is outweighed by the good of the opportunity to prevent future occurrences of the disease. The falsity of this principle needs little reflection to become manifest. Consider that if this principle were true, we would rejoice with each new disease because it would give us the opportunity to prevent future instances of that disease. We would currently be celebrating the AIDS epidemic, because the thousands or millions who have died and will die agonizing deaths from this disease would give us the 'outweighing good' of the opportunity to prevent future instances of AIDS. But this is of course morally absurd. The evil of the actual instances of AIDS far outweighs whatever goodness belongs to the opportunity to prevent possible instances of it." - Quentin Smith [2]

Since independency from God so we can can help others ourselves pertaining to disease is implausible and counter-intuitive as an outweighing good; this theodicy seems to fail. Also, let's say independency increases the worlds goodness level by X amount, and requires Y amount evil. Since God is omnipotent he could increase the worlds goodness by X amount in another way not involving said independency or requiring Y amount of evil (as God can do anything logically possible). This means that Y amount of evil would still be gratuitous as God's omnipotence entails he could instantiate X amount of goodness without Y amount of evil as there is nothing incoherent about such a thing. This refutation works against any posited justification for apparent gratuitous suffering or evil my opponent could even possibly bring to the table. This is why theodicies fail; Nicholas Tattersall makes a point that somewhat resembles mine:

"Why is producing a sound theodicy such a difficult task? The problem essentially comes down to the fact that things are so easy for the critic. When finding faults for attempted explanations of evil, all logical possibilities are open... Refutations of theodicies can often work by simply noting other possibilities open to God for achieving goals which do not involve intense suffering." - Nicholas Tattersall [3]

--Rape Intervention--

My opponent says that God would want us to intervene with regards to rape in order for us to help each other. However, if helping people is so good under Theism, then why doesn't God stop rape when nobody else can? Imagine a man captures a child and nobody sees, and drags a child to an abandoned barn miles and miles away from any other human. In this situation, there is no possibility of anybody intervening in the rape except God himself but God never intervenes. I'm sure many situations like this have happened over the course of human history. If God is is all-good then he is the standard of goodness meaning good is merely God-Likeness. So if God is the type of person who never stop rapes even when he can and just watches with inaction, and everything God does is good, then it follows that never stopping rape even when you can and just watching with inaction is good if God exists. However, never stopping rape even when you can and just watching with inaction is not good. Therefore, it follows that God does not exist.

---Must Moral Realism Be True If God Exists?---

Omnibenevolence is an objective property of God properly defined classically. It is inherent to his very nature and is not subject to change based on any opinion. Therefore, if God exists, Moral Realism is necessarily true.

---The Holocaust---

My opponent implies that the allowance of the Holocaust was good so we can learn to prevent future instances of genocide. However, this assumes that allowing genocide is bad. This contradicts Theism, because if allowing genocide is bad then God wouldn't have allowed the holocaust (as God only does what is good). Therefore, if what my opponent is saying is true, then Theism is false. One could say that only us preventing genocide entails the greater good, but God can't prevent the genocide without forgoing a greater good. Not only is this extremely ad hoc but it puts God's omnipotence in question. I'm sure if God wanted to he could intervene and prevent all genocide and find a way to make the intervention causally necessary for an even greater good than the good that would be entailed by the causally necessary evil that would have been prevented had he stopped said genocide.

---Can Morality Exist Without Suffering?---

If God exists, then he is morally good solely due to his nature and by definition; no suffering required. Therefore, if my opponent is right that morally requires suffering; God does not exist. Either way good does not require the amount of suffering we see in the world. Love is good, and I can love someone even if no Intense suffering existed. Generosity is good, and I can give even if people did not get raped and murdered. So this response may only work with regards to some goods, perhaps, not all. Also, remember, even one instance of gratuitous suffering disconfirms God's existence, so this line of reasoning from my opponent is not convincing.

---Conclusion---

The Problem of Evil withstands all of my opponent's objections; the resolution is still affirmed.

---Sources--

[1] Alvin Plantinga, "Self Profile" in Alvin Plantinga ed. James E. Tomberlin and Peter van Inwagen (Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidal Publishing Company, 1985), p. 35.

[2] RELIGIOUS STUDIES in 1992 (Volume 28, pp. 347-350)

[3] https://infidels.org...
thatNerd

Con

I thank my opponent for his response, though I feel he failed to understand a large part of my argument. I will expound on and clarify what I said in first and second rounds.

The base of my argument is that gratuitous does not exist; all "evil" events somehow affect society in a positive way. In addition to that if I were to address all suffering that would include gratuitous. Therefore, I did not miss the mark. Instead, I used the examples of rape and the Holocaust, which you used in the second round, to present a counter argument. My Holocaust argument is not ad hoc, the idea of God having us learn from tragedies can be applied to multiple situations. For example, after the Shirtwaist Factory fire during the Gilded Age, the United States government created regulations to help prevent future fires similar to it. God did not need to step in for future fires similar to it to be prevented.

My opponent's HIV analogy is flawed because as a Deist I did not believe God purposely injected evil into the world, just so we could overcome it. I believed evil was an unavoidable by-product of a universe which holds intelligent life. That does not make God any less benevolent or omnipotent. I believed God was creating a perfect and harmonious world through the development of morality and evolution and the world was not finished yet. A corrected version of your HIV analogy would look like this: A child who has HIV participates in studies on HIV and as a result of many studies over many years, a cure is developed. If you are wondering why would God allow HIV to exist, my answer is it was a by-product of evolution.
To counter the quote from Quentin Smith on AIDS I will expound on my argument from round two. Dependence on God for healing and morality would prevent civilization from developing. I will list my reasoning:

1. We would not need medicine to heal the sick and as a result of never looking into why people get sick biology's development would be greatly retarded.

2. If poverty and people's wishes for wealth did not exist, alchemy, the pseudo-science predecessor of chemistry would not have developed and the development of chemistry would be retarded.

3. If wars never happened engineering development would be retarded.

4. If crimes never happened law and morality would not develop.

5. Anything that requires problem-solving would be retarded if God were to fix all of our problems for us.

Personally, I feel ceasing the development of society would be the worst price to pay for anything.

If God were to intervene in everything he saw as a heinous crime, how would we ever develop a field such as morality, which requires us to think about the consequences of good and evil actions? What if God were to say abortion or gay marriage we wrong? Would we who think otherwise not be inclined to rebel aginst Him? Instead, God lets us realize good and evil on our own, through morality. A good analogy of this is a kid who, despite is parents' warnings, tries to climb a tree each day and the kid does not stop until he falls and breaks his leg. As a Deist, I believed God knew that best way for people to develop ideas on what is good or bad would be to have us see the results of immoral actions.

My opponent's rape intervention argument does not destroy my argument. If a person was to be kidnapped and dragged too far away for any other human to intervene, we as a society would wonder how could we prevent him or her from getting dragged away in the first place. For example, gas stations are brightly lit to prevent mugging and neighborhoods have street lamps to discourage break-ins and kidnapping.

My opponent's counterargument to my assertion that morality cannot exist without suffering simply does not work. Goodness and morality are not the same thing morality is defined as the "principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior" (Oxford Pocket Dictionary on Google). My opponent's counter argument does not actually address morality's dependence on suffering. He actually argued that something good does not have to come out of something bad. I completely agree with this, but I also feel that something good does come out of all bad things.

Based on what I have presented, I believe "The Problem of Evil" did not withstand all of my objections; my opponent's resolution is still up for question.

Sources:
Oxford Pocket Dictionary on Google
https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

---Correction---

At the end of the Holocaust section in my last round I said:

"...that would have been prevented had he stopped said genocide."

I meant to say:

"...that would have occurred had he allowed said genocide."

My apologies for the error.

---Introduction---

I thank my opponent for his response. In this round I will expand on why Con's motivations for rejecting the PoE are misconceived, and why the PoE still stands firmly unscathed.

---All Evil Effects Society In A Positive Way---

All suffering is not the same as gratuitous suffering so even if I was to admit that God would have no good reason to prevent all suffering, it wouldn't follow that he has no good reason to prevent gratuitous suffering. Therefore, the fact that all suffering includes gratuitous suffering is a fallacious red-herring and does indeed miss the mark. Now, this positive societal benefit rebuttal is not very good for one powerful reason:

(i) It's not enough that evil leads to good, the evil in question must lead to an outweighing good in order for the evil in question to be theologically justified

As philosopher Keith Augustine notes:

"God would only allow as much evil or suffering as is absolutely necessary in order to achieve greater goods. But when we look at the world around us, we find instances of apparently gratuitous evil - pointless evils from which no greater good seems to result." - Keith Augustine [1]

Con mentions how certain fires occurred which lead to laws that prevented future fires. I have already tore down theodicies like this in my previous round so I'm confused why my opponent still mentions them as if they are valid. The allowance of fires is not necessary for the prevention of future fires, God could prevent all fires himself, or tell us the best way to do it without allowing the fires. If God is all-good then he is all-loving and you help the people you love as much as you can not just have them suffer and fend for themselves. This makes the fires gratuitous as it's not necessary for the preventative good in question. This applies to pretty much all of Con's theodicies, and I'm quite shocked that he is still using these theodicies after I already explained the failure of them.

---Disease---

Deadly viruses existed long before intelligent creatures did, so the fact that God would create a world knowing that the deadly diseases he created would cause so much suffering and mayhem but did it anyway is morally suspect. So this apparent evil on behalf of God would be the result of God himself not the result of intelligent life. Therefore, my opponent's argument that evil only existed after intelligent life in the universe is questionable at best at it ignores natural evils.

---Dependence On God Would Prevent Citizens From Developing---

Citizens wouldn't have to help if there was nothing horrific that needed to be stopped in the first place. This is the point. Imagine, if your father got cancer and someone said "this is amazing, now we have more motivation to stop this disease, isn't cancer wonderful because of the greater good is causes?", you would find it morally absurd and utterly insane. Anybody would agree that it would be better if cancer simply never existed at all. So my opponent's arguments aren't just failures, they are self-evidently failures. My opponent mentions 5 points, here are my refutations:

(1) It would be greater if people never got sick at all.

(2) No poverty would be greater, and there are other chemistry purposes besides healing so it's not clear chemistry would be retarded.

(3) No wars are greater. And engineering lead to nuclear weapons which may destroy society let alone make it better. Engineering would prevail anyway even without wars as there are other purposes for engineering.

(4) I already showed in my last round how people could still be morally good even without the mass amounts of suffering in the world.

(5) Problem solving only requires problems, not the suffering on the mass scale we see in the world so that suffering it is still gratuitous.

All 5 points of my opponent's points fail to sufficiently address the PoE in any valid fashion.

---Rape Intervention---

It's a good thing in the long run that women children and raped because then we can help prevent it in that future, is what Con is alluding too. This is just another terrible theodicy I've already taken down with ease. God can prevent all rape, and it would be greater if no rape happened. If God wants us to prevent rape ourselves even when we cannot, then this disconfirms an all-good being. I love my daughter, and I would never let her get raped just so other people can help and not be dependent on me. If God was all-good (and thus all-loving) he would feel the same as it simply cashes out from the concept of love. You don't leave the people you love to their own devices to just destroy themselves, and that seems to be where society is heading if you've seen the news lately. World War 3 is dangerously close and due to the nuclear weapons we have engineered society may end. The way society is going with the greed on Wall Street and the wars between countries; it is self-evident that some evils are leading to even greater evils not greater goods.

---Are Goodness And Morality The Same Thing?---

Morality is a type of good, so if a being is all-good then this being is all-moral. Being morally perfect is even part of the definition of omnibenevolence [2]. This means morality doesn't require suffering if God exists because moral perfection is just part of God's definition. Also, even if morality did require suffering, it doesn't require the mass amounts of suffering we see on such a horrendous scale; making much of the suffering gratuitous, and thus, disconfirming God's existence via the PoE.

---In Conclusion---

In my first round I presented the PoE. The first premise is uncontested, and the second premise regarding the existence of gratuitous suffering is justified for the four reasons I mentioned in my opening round:

(1) It is true prima facie and inductively.

(2) If evil is a necessary condition for a greater good, then why prevent evil if the greater good comes out of it necessarily anyway even if we did nothing prevent it? It seems we have no good reason.

(3) If God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil, he would let us know so more people could come into a relationship with him. This is not what happens, many people lose faith in God due to arguments like the PoE, and less people come into a relationship with him. This is inconsistent if God exists.

(4) God would create any amount of good he wants without certain suffering or evil since he is all-good, and could because he is all-powerful. Since there is a tremendous amount of certain evil and suffering that isn't necessary; God doesn't exist. Only the free-will defense could combat this, which even my opponent admits is flawed.

Many of my points when unaddressed, and instead, my opponent presented theodicies that fail for the same reason all theodicies fail:

(i) The good that comes out of the evil is not an outweighing good.

(ii) God could bring about the same amount of good without the mass amounts of intense suffering we see in the world as he is omnipotent and can do anything logically possible.

The PoE is as strong as ever, and the resolution has been, without a shadow of a doubt, affirmed.

I thank my opponent for this debate.

---Sources---

[1] https://infidels.org...

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
thatNerd

Con

I thank my opponent for his response.

First, if gratuitous suffering were to exist (which I believe does not exist), "all suffering" would include gratuitous suffering because the word all refers to the entire group. This is undebatable unless our debate were to surround the semantics of the word all. According to Oxford Pocket Dictionary, the definition of all is "used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing." If anything in this debate is red-herring, it is arguing about the semantics of a commonly used pronoun which was used correctly.

Second, I brought up the Shirtwaist fire to show that you did not tear down that argument, but I have town down your counter argument to it before so I will copy and paste the same thing a wrote before to counter it. "If God were to intervene in everything he saw as a heinous crime, how would we ever develop a field such as morality, which requires us to think about the consequences of good and evil actions? What if God were to say abortion or gay marriage we wrong? Would we who think otherwise not be inclined to rebel aginst Him? Instead, God lets us realize good and evil on our own, through morality. A good analogy of this is a kid who, despite is parents' warnings, tries to climb a tree each day and the kid does not stop until he falls and breaks his leg. As a Deist, I believed God knew that best way for people to develop ideas on what is good or bad would be to have us see the results of immoral actions."

Third, you may see God preventing crimes in the first place as a better action, while I see learning from crimes and preventing them ourselves as the better action for reasons already stated. This is completely a subjective argument and in every case, you have brought it up as it were an objective fact.

Fourth, as a Deist, I believed God ignited the Big bang and stood back to watch the universe develop.This makes your point on disease invalid because, when accompanied with my point on evolution from round two, God would have known in order for life to evolve to be intelligent it would have to go through the competitive process of natural selection, viruses aid that process by killing off animals with genes which could not allow them to survive and allowing the animals with the adaptation to survive and pass on their adaptations so the species can evolve. In addition to that viruses are not evil, they have no malicious intent because they don't have the ability to think in such complex ways. They simply exist with the only wishes to survive and reproduce. Unfortunately, that means killing us sometimes in the process. Therefore as humans, we label that as bad but, the virus does not know it is killing us.

Fifth, my five points from round three are not self-evidently failures or failures at all. Here is why:

(1) As mentioned a few paragraphs above this is debatable and subjective.

(2) Alchemy was a pseudo-science whose purpose was to figure out how to manufacture gold. It was not used for medicine. I apologize for not making that clear.

(3) Again, as mentioned a few paragraphs above this is debatable and subjective.

(4) I feel my entire debate refutes this. My analogy about the kid climbing trees fits it best though.

(5) Don't problems require suffering or discomfort. If not would we really do anything about them?

Okay, let's be clear, I am not suggesting rape is good, that is why I believed God wanted us to figure out how to prevent it. What am saying is good things can come out of all bad events, including rape. This point is made my previous rounds. It is red-herring to twist my words and say I am alluding to the rape of women and children and girls is good, as a teenaged girl, I would never believe that.

Also, I believe the world is getting better. For example, the Cold War melted, due to the Star Wars bluff. The UN, an organization created during and because of a World War, has successfully prevented war between major powers. Doctors Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders, and the Peace Corps are working to create a better world. Before, I took history I used to have a negative view of the world, but if you look back just fifty years you will see we have come a long way and are moving up.

Also, last round I used the dictionary definition of Morality. If you say I am wrong you are saying the Oxford Pocket Dictionary is wrong. Morality is a noun. Morally is an adjective. They have two different definitions. Yes, they are related to each other but, they are definitely not the same word.

What did I not address? We are debating whether the problem of evil is a sound argument against God's existence, not why does God not reveal himself. Also, the allowance of evil gives us a reason to better ourselves and problems to find solutions to.
Using my tree climbing analogy to display your second concluding point would look like this: If the kid learns not to climb the tree by injuring himself, why does he not injure himself again by climbing the tree again?
By repeating the evil we would defeat the purpose of God actually allowing them in the first place.

Your fourth concluding point was addressed multiple times, even in this round, but to sum up my refute: God allows suffering because it is the most efficient way to teach humanity morality and to better society.

You claim the free-will defense is the only defense which could combat you claim, but I was clearly able to contend using different arguments. Whether they were good arguments the votes will decide but, I was able to back them, therefore, that statement was just false.

Lastly, has the resolution been affirmed? That is up to the voters.
I thank my opponent for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 1 year ago
Rational_Thinker9119
At the end of the Holocaust section I said:

"...that would have been prevented had he stopped said genocide."

What I meant to say was

"...that would have occurred had he allowed said genocide."
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 1 year ago
Rational_Thinker9119
In the Holocaust section I wrote:

"I'm sure if God wanted he could intervene and prevent all genocide and find a way to make the intervention causally necessary for an even greater good than the good that would be entailed by the causally necessary
Posted by thatNerd 1 year ago
thatNerd
I apologize for my short response. I had a lot of work this week. My next argument will be longer.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 1 year ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I hope my opponent returns to this site or else I wasted a pretty good round lol
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 1 year ago
Rational_Thinker9119
His picture was there because I specifically challenged him after I left the debate open for a while, then I left the debate open again because he didn't respond.
Posted by philochristos 1 year ago
philochristos
I am so confused! The last time I looked at this debate, I could've sworn Popculturepooka accepted this debate. But now I'm looking at the same debate, and thatNerd has accepted it. I thought at first maybe it was a different debate with the same topic, but then I looked at the comments and noticed my same comments. So I'm confused. Have I gone mad?
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 1 year ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Then God cannot be all good (because if good cannot exist without the bad, then that means prior to creation, all of God's good properties required bad properties). However, God is all good by definition, so if there cannot be good without bad; then God does not exist.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
good cant exist without bad
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Evil..Another dream..And gods..What is that outside a dream.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Suffering exist.. Or does it ?..Thats life..The rest is a matter of dreams...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sui_Generis 1 year ago
Sui_Generis
Rational_Thinker9119thatNerdTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pretty pissed that this 503 ate my first decision. Basically I'm not sure how this works but if Con gets more points simply for my personal agreement with him that's stupid af. Pro argued his case better. Con claims to attempt to refute P1 but then attempts to refute P2 (the correct choice I believe, but inadequately argued). Additionally since the bar for Pro is so low ("probably exists," "plausibly true") the bar is accordingly very high for Con. His argument was far from robust enough to meet this bar. Consequently Pro made the more convincing argument, though I personally found them inadequate overall as well.
Vote Placed by missbailey8 1 year ago
missbailey8
Rational_Thinker9119thatNerdTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/100689/