The Instigator
Austriananarchist
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Evolution078
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

The Problem of Evil Disproves an All-Loving, All-Powerful God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Evolution078
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,041 times Debate No: 13474
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)

 

Austriananarchist

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent beforehand for accepting this debate and look forward to an enlightening and intriguing debate.

As I am defending the proposition, it is my job to defend the problem of evil against my opponent's responses. The problem of evil is an attempt at disproving an all-loving, all powerful God by claiming that there is a contradiction between the attributes of this supposed God and the evil we can readily observe, as a loving God would want to stop the evil, and an all powerful one would be able to. I will attempt to prove its validity in this debate, while Con will attempt to resolve the alleged contradiction.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
Evolution078

Con

I have actually had this debate/ and or tried with my friends and family from your stand point but no one I know enjoys a debate regardless of religious views.
I also would like to start of by saying I am by no means a die hard christian fan, I have tried to become spiritual & religious for all the great things it does for people.

-God wants man to make his own choice about being good or evil. Evil persists because he lets it, Those that walk in the light & believe in his son Jesus Christ will be blessed indeffinatley. Those that disbelieve will burn forever in hell as their souls rip apart over and over. He wants to let those that are truly good to walk among him in heaven. As some one once told me, "God works in mysterious ways, which is much greater than any one can comprehend". God has a plan for us all, it is your decision to walk in the light. As far as his power, the Egyptions didn't believe Moses when he told them he could do all these things (10 plagues I believe). The flys, the frogs, the locust exc... & then the death of all 1st born children. This I believe is the greatest example of his ultimate power, all though reading Exodus, Leviticus, & Genesis you realize that God's power has been proved time and time again. I have not read the whole bible but I believe it is in revelations where it tells about what will happen to those that truly believe & walk in the light.

Lastly as far as an all loving god; This one is odd for me because when I was little I would pray for any problem I had. Kids picking on me, family problems exc... I noticed that the next day everything was better, I could truly rely on him. As I got older my parents persisted to push me to believing in the catholic religion & I had a falling out with Christ. I doubted & argued with every one about how his exsistent is not real. I fell away from christ & I have a hard time coming back to a religion. But as I remember I could truly rely on him and his love was real, & their are millions of others that would contest the same thing. Its something you can't base as a fact so its incredibly hard to debate its exsistence especially to a non believer. Resorting back to the bible he shows his love for mankind, The bible is gods way of guiding man & informing him of what will happen if he doesn't believe & also the love he'll achieve if he does.
Debate Round No. 1
Austriananarchist

Pro

I would like to thank Con for his response and look forward to an interesting debate.

Con begins by saying: "God wants man to make his own choice about being good or evil." This is effectively Alvin Plantinga's free will defense, which is generally considered to be a powerful theodicy. However, it is not without flaws. First, it leaves natural suffering (suffering not due to man's decisions, such as earthquakes) out of the equation, so this theodicy fails to completely explain evil from the start. Second, for it to be valid, libertarian free will must exist; however, I believe I can demonstrate that it does not with a short argument that goes as follows:

P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

Con will have to demonstrate that libertarian free will can still exist by either attacking one of my premises, or attacking the logical validity of the argument. I'll be interested in seeing what Con's response to this is.

The second point made by Con is as follows: "Those that walk in the light & believe in his son Jesus Christ will be blessed indeffinatley. Those that disbelieve will burn forever in hell as their souls rip apart over and over. He wants to let those that are truly good to walk among him in heaven." First of all, Con's argument here seems to lead him into both the problem of non-belief and the problem of hell. In other words, Con's point seems to raise the questions, "Why doesn't God prove his existence directly in such a way that everybody has an equal chance at salvation?" and "Why would a loving God send somebody to hell in the first place?" Second, the idea that God is testing us fails for a couple reasons. First, or the test to be fair, it assumes that we have free will, so Con will need to refute the above syllogism I presented for this argument to go anywhere. Second, the idea of a test only makes sense in the context of a being with limited knowledge, there's no point in testing something if you already know the results. Third, for a test to be useful, it must be applied to its subjects equally, a test is both useless and unfair if some people are born into different cultures and families and therefore are less likely to pass the test. This would be akin to an high school math teacher giving one test with basic arithmetic to half of the students, and another test with calculus to the other half.

Next Con claims that "God works in mysterious ways, which is much greater than any one can comprehend." This argument is unpersuasive because the only way God can justifiably allow suffering is if the suffering is intrinsically necessary to achieve a value greater than the minimization of suffering; however, if we do posit this value as greater to God than reducing suffering, then it begs the question, "Why doesn't God create more suffering to achieve more courage/sympathy/love/whatever?" For example, if suffering is worth it to give the opportunity for courage, then why don't we all get to experience courage, which must be a higher value for the argument to even get this far?

The forth point made is that God's power is proved by the stories in Exodus, Leviticus, and Genesis. This is a flawed argument because it assumes the historical validity of the Bible, which I dispute. Con will have to prove the Bible's validity as a historical document for this argument to hold any weight

This sums up the substance of Con's reply. For him to win he must either refute each criticism I have levied against at least one of his theodicies.

I again thank Con for replying and look forward to his response.
Evolution078

Con

Pro begins by saying that Alvin Pantinga's Free Will defense is flawed for the fact that it leaves out natural suffereing, suffering not due to mans decisions such as earthquakes. My opponent must prove that natural disasters are not a scientifical phenomon but prove that it is a source of evil. Natural Disasters can create new life, take an earthquake for example; Plate tetonics move wihin the earth on fault lines causing the earth to shift forming new natural features such as mountains & new habbitats for life. Who is to say they are evil? A wise saying is beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Humans may consider it a destruction of life, but tiny organisms may thrive. Which in return may cause life to flourish. Pro then argues the fact that free will does not exsist as follows;

P1: All chosen actions are determined by their agent's values and preferences
P2: Agents do not freely choose their values and preferences
P3: If an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free
P4: All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen (from 1 & 2)
Conclusion: Free will does not exist (from 3 & 4)

I will then demonstrate that free will does exsist taking the Compatibilism view towards free will. German philosopher & Compatibilist Arthur Schopenhauer once said "A man is free to do what he wills, but a man can not will what he wills". Compatibilists view of "free will" is one in which the agent had freedom to act. An agent my value integrity, and honesty, but may be forced to steal food for his family. Point 2 then says that agents do not freely choose their own values & preferences. Let us take a child that is abused, He then declares that he will never be like his father. In turn he chose his own values based of his own life expirence. Point 3 states that an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free. I agree with the fact that choices are a result of what has happened, as known as life expirences. But to say that your choices are not free based on that is to my understanding in accurate. Let us use the example that a woman is born with a large nose. She can not change her genetic makeup but in turn it is her free will to get plastic sygery or not. & Finally point four states All choices are determined by factors which are not freely chosen. A child walks into an icecream store one day by accident. He has never tried icecream or even heard of it. He then chooses chocolate for no reason at all, It in turn was his own free will with out any outside contributing factors. This then brings discredit to Pro's point of view that free will does not exsist.

Pro then disputes the overall idea that if god trully exsisted then why doesn't he come to us all and prove his exsistence? God had proved his exsistence through Jesus Crist his one son. In the bible Jesus does remarkable feats from allowing the blind to see, and walking on water, he proves gods exsistence time & time again. It is through a chrisitians faith that he will then be blessed. God has given us all a chance by giving mankind a free will. Satan also commonly known as Lucifer, The Devil, & The Morning Star, was an angel who was much brighter & higher than the rest. His pride would not allow him to bow down to god & wanted to rule heaven for himself so god had sent Satan to hell. Those that believe that they are gods or that Jesus Christ was not gods one and only son will burn in hell. Pro then argues that if some people are born into different cultures and families they are less likely to pass the test. In defense I point out that there are many people that have chosen not to follow what their parents follow. My own parents are catholic & I am leaning towards other christian religions. In todays age it is almost impossible to not know of christianity & all men have the free will to chose to follow Christ. Babys are the exception to this rule which are automatically granted into heaven.

The next point that pro disputes is "Why doesn't God create more suffering to achieve more courage/sympathy/love/whatever?" God had increased suffering which can also be read with in the bible, When the Egyptions oppressed the chosen ones god then brought upon them the 10 plagues & the angel of death. Looking at historical referances we go back to the bubonic plague which wiped out a third of Europe in its time. Which is no where near the case now. But as human beings we are uncapable of knowing what is within gods plan for each of us, but it is our choice to follow his teachings & live upon the path of righteousness.

Lastly Christianity is not the only religion to believe in Jesus Christ. Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prophet born to a virgin that rose from the dead. Jeudisim see's Jesus as a false messiah, but the one thing they all share in common is the belief that a god does exsist along with the belief that Jesus Christ had walked this earth. Looking at modern times there had been no proof that King Solomn had exsisted, I quote "For example, until 1993 there was no proof of the existence of King David or even of Israel as a nation prior to Solomon. Then in 1993 archeologists found proof of King David's existence outside the Bible. At an ancient mound called Tel Dan, in the north of Israel, words carved into a chunk of basalt were translated as "House of David" and "King of Israel" proving that he was more than just a legend." This brings credit to the bible being used as a historical referance. R.D. Wilson who wrote "A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament" pointed out that the names of 29 Kings from ten nations (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and more) are mentioned not only in the Bible but are also found on monuments of their own time. Every single name is transliterated in the Old Testament exactly as it appears on the archaeological artifact – syllable for syllable, consonant for consonant. The chronological order of the kings is correct. And lastly proving Christ had exsisted Roman historian Tacitus writing between 115-117 A.D. had said this; "They got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That checked the pernicious superstition for a short time, but it broke out afresh-not only in Judea, where the plague first arose, but in Rome itself, where all the horrible and shameful things in the world collect and find a home." From his Annals, xv. 44.
Here is a pagan historian, hostile to Christianity, who had access to records about what happened to Jesus Christ.
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Website References:
http://agards-bible-timeline.com...
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I now await my opponents dispute
Debate Round No. 2
Austriananarchist

Pro

Con begins by claiming that natural evil, specifically natural disasters, are not a problem for God because, "Natural Disasters can create new life, take an earthquake for example; Plate tetonics move wihin the earth on fault lines causing the earth to shift forming new natural features such as mountains & new habbitats for life." The problem with this is it assumes a limit on God, specifically one where God is unable to create a world with the good effects of plate tectonics, but not the bad ones. For example, an omnipotent God could merely have created a larger Earth which included any habitats for life already made, without needing plate tectonics. Or, more fundamentally, he could have simply created a non-physical world, like heaven, where these natural phenomena would not even be an issue. He goes on to remark "A wise saying is beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Humans may consider it a destruction of life, but tiny organisms may thrive. Which in return may cause life to flourish." The problem with this is that it implies a limit to God's power. An omnipotent God would be entirely capable of causing life to flourish without the necessity of tiny organisms or plate tectonics.

Con responds my argument against free will by saying that he takes a compatibilist view. This also is my view; however, compatibilism is not sufficient to grant free will defense validity. The reason is that if, as Schopenhauer stated, man cannot will what he wills, then it would be in no way contradictory to free will for God to change what we will himself, such that we do not choose evil.

Con then says: "An agent my value integrity, and honesty, but may be forced to steal food for his family." I agree, but this does not refute my first premise, as his reason for stealing food is in order to achieve something he values more than integrity and honesty. It is entirely possible for two values to be in opposition to each other and I do not deny this. He next says, "Point 2 then says that agents do not freely choose their own values & preferences. Let us take a child that is abused, He then declares that he will never be like his father. In turn he chose his own values based of his own life expirence." This is entirely accurate; however, I would contend that the value of not being like his father was not freely chosen, as the child's reason for choosing that value was not freely chosen. He would have to choose his life experience for this to hold any weight, which he clearly didn't. Con disputes premise three by saying, "Point 3 states that an agent's choices are ultimately determined by factors outside it's control, those choices are not free. I agree with the fact that choices are a result of what has happened, as known as life expirences. But to say that your choices are not free based on that is to my understanding in accurate." I would argue that they are free in the compatibilist sense, but such a definition of free will is not sufficient for the free will defense to hold any weight. In this argument, the term 'free will' effectively means "the ability to choose otherwise," which compatabilists obviously deny, as they accept determinism. Con then tries to give a counterexample to prove free will, which goes as follows, "A child walks into an icecream store one day by accident. He has never tried icecream or even heard of it. He then chooses chocolate for no reason at all." I would argue that this action was not actually chosen based on values, but rather on whim, this would beg the question "Did the child choose to have that whim?" The answer, or course, is no, making the example insufficient to prove metaphysical libertarianism.

Con responds to my question about non-belief by saying that God has proved his existence through Jesus. This is flawed first because it assumes the Bible's validity, which is heavily disputed, and second, because even if the Bible is accurate, its accuracy is questionable enough to deter some people away from Christianity who would not be deterred had God given direct proof of his existence. He then again appeals to man's free will. If my opponent continues to hold a compatibilist view though, this response leads us to ask why God doesn't make us value blind faith more.

Con responds to my remark that people are more or less likely to fail God's test based on where they were born my claiming that many people have converted. I do not dispute this; however, it still remains the case that people born in Iraq are less likely to pass than someone born the United States. In the same way, a few 9th graders may ail the test on basic arithmetic, and a few may pass the one on advanced calculus, but that does not make the test any more fair.

Con also says that babies are automatically allowed into heaven. If this is the case, then why don't we all die as babies so we can be guaranteed to reach heaven?

Con claims that there are higher values which are contingent upon suffering, claiming that God has allowed and even caused it. However, he seems to be missing the point, as I am claiming that if this is the case, then we would still be getting bombarded by plagues and we would still be suffering from the Black Death. It is clear that there is less suffering now than there used to be, and consequently, less of the values produced by suffering. If those values are greater, then there would be far more suffering, and if they are less valuable than freedom from suffering, we would expect no suffering. Either way, we should expect uniformity throughout the world and through out time, which is not the case.

Con points out that some Biblical claims have been proven by extra-biblical sources. There are a few problems with this. First, evidence of King Solomon would only provide credibility to the books of Bible that mention Solomon, as the Bible is a collection of separate works. In the same way, if I published a science textbook in which the last 150 pages were from "Alice in Wonderland," the credibility of the scientific claims would not carry over to the fictional ones. Second, I am far more inclined to believe the Bible's claims of the existence of certain figures than I am to believe any supernatural or otherwise extraordinary claims. In the same way, you are probably more likely to believe me if I say I just ate a cheeseburger than you are if I say I just ate a fire-breathing unicorn, which I killed using a lightsaber. The former claim takes little more than assertion, while the latter claim takes direct proof. Regarding Tacitus's account Jesus, its authenticity has been questioned by some histiorians. To quote Gordon Stein:

"Perhaps most damning to the authenticity of this passage is the fact that it is present almost word-for-word in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus (died in 403 A.D.), where it is mixed in with obviously false tales. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that Sulpicius could have copied this passage from Tacitus, as none of his contemporaries mention the passage. This means that it was probably not in the Tacitus manuscripts at that date. It is much more likely, then, that copyists working in the Dark Ages from the only existing manuscript of the Chronicle, simply copied the passage from Sulpicius into the manuscript of Tacitus which they were reproducing."[1]

References:

1. http://www.infidels.org...
Evolution078

Con

To the Pro, and the readers, I apologize if it is hard to follow which of Pros points I am debating. I was running out of room & needed to down size. Pro for your rebuttal please label paragraphs so we don't have to recite/quote entire lines. Thank you.

I admit that Pro holds a extremely valid point, But now I would like to ask Pro this, How well do you know god? Do you both go out on the weekend & have a few beers? My point I am trying to make is that no one knows gods true limitations. We have seen what he can do thus far, but we have not seen what he can't do. Who is to say that god could not have made a perfect earth? In fact he did when he had created the heavens, We are mortals, how are we to know what gods big picture is? Con then states: "The problem with this is that it implies a limit to God's power. An omnipotent God would be entirely capable of causing life to flourish without the necessity of tiny organisms or plate tectonics." Which in turn brings me back to the previous rebuttal. Pro repeatedly assumes that because our world is not perfect, god is not omnipotent. For Pro to be able to prove his theory he would
need to prove to all of us that he knows god as well as his own son.

Resorting to my last point who is to say that God can not? Maybe it is within his grand plan, but I have realized that Pro & many others like him need facts. Which is why I go on to say again that god wants man to choose between good & evil. Pro has not defined what he believes evil is so I will state my beliefs; Evil is some one that can watch something die with no emotion, to be completely numbed to the act of killing. Evil is a mother that drowns her children in the bathtub, a man that tortures captives just to listen to them scream. And finally evil can be anything that causes another to act out wrongful deeds. I realize I could have simply searched among the dictionary for the definition, but I feel like it would not have the same impact as some of the examples I have listed above. The Christian view point is that if you believe in God the almighty, and that his son Jesus Christ died for our sins. You repent & are truly sorry for what you had done, you too can achieve immortality through Jesus Christ. The key into heaven is believing, but you will be blessed for your good deeds. And lastly if you do believe in the lord, you are more than likely a follower of his ways trying to achieve as many acts as good as you can.

Pro and I then dispute if man is capable of free will, And what free will is. I cede to the fact that all of our choices come from an outside influence. A man who is forced to steal to feed his family is a prime example of this. But where our viewpoints differ is that free will does exist. If a child grows up in a family that loves basketball. It is his free will to choose if he does or not. Yes his choice is going to be influenced by his family and others who may enjoy the game. But in the end it is his choice, you can spin it so many ways but in the end it is if you want to accept it.

I cede with Pros view that even if the bible is accurate, it is impossible to judge how accurate it actually is. I quote Pro; "In the same way, if I published a science textbook in which the last 150 pages were from "Alice in Wonderland, the credibility of the scientific claims would not carry over to the fictional ones." This is a very valid fact that Pro contests which we all must think about (When I first read that I busted out laughing). Last night I was watching South Park. It was the one where Towlie posed as a man so that he could publish his book. He then was invited on Oprah's book show, and it was nominated book of the month. Minge, we will say is a close partner of Oprah's, revealed that Towlie was not a man but a Towel. The people had then began to protest. The book had helped so many people with their lives & now they have found out that it was written by a towel. Oprah then said "It does not matter
that it had been written by a towel because it had helped so many people with their lives." The point I am making here for those that didn't follow the story is that even if some of the things within the bible had been fabricated, it still proves to make peoples lives better. What is so wrong with that? For my final point I go on to quote Kyle Broflovski (South Park, Episode Imagination land); "Some of these characters in here are just as real as you & me. Hell some are even more real than us because when we die, they will live forever."

The term Christianity is to bold of a term for this debate. Because different Christians have different views in which they go by. For example;

(1) "Mormon teachings about heaven include the thought that when you die, you are resurrected as a spirit
creature and judged according to the deeds you performed on earth. Mormon beliefs include three separate types of kingdoms or what they refer to as degrees of glory. This includes the celestial kingdom; this is the highest degree of glory and is reserved for those who accept Jesus as their savior, live according to his gospel and their teachings. There is also the terrestrial kingdom; this is for people who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live good or honorable lives apart from these beliefs. And the third part of Mormon beliefs about heaven is the telestial kingdom; those who continue in their sins and do not repent until after they have died.

(2) While in roman Catholicism "If it were true that going about doing good deeds gets one into Heaven (or to be more accurate, makes one an heir to God's kingdom), then human beings would be perfectly capable of saving themselves. Some other way than weighing us solely on our merits is needed; we believe that way is in Christ."

The two religions all though both Christian do hold different beliefs. My point to the comparison and to answer Pros contentions is to show that those that are more unlikely to pass the judgment day can fall into a different type of heaven. This all depends on what religion we are debating. For those that are religious & are following this debate, I do not mean to discredit anyone's religion by showing contractions.

I might as well ask Pro "Why Do we exist at all then? God wants us to bond & grow and ultimately get closer to him. He wants us to prove ourselves worthy enough to sit within his kingdom. Would the USMC be the same if they just let anyone in? No it wouldn't you have to work hard to achieve what you want, to be considered the best. To call yourself a United States Marine, the USMC prides itself upon excellence and that is why they are seen all over the world as
the best. The same can be said for reaching heaven.

I understand what Con is saying and it does raise the question as to why some countries are flourishing and others are suffering. This is just a theory as to why that might be happening seeing how I do not have an answer to that question. My theory is this, Let us take the US, When the US was founded it was mostly about religion. Until recently we had "In God We Trust" printed among our currency & followed the teachings of god even if subtle. Look at the US today we are in a better standing than a majority of countries. Now let us look at the Middle East a majority of those countries are Muslim in nature & follow the Qu'Ran. Who is to say that they are not suffering? Its a question that can't be answered but only assumed but it does hold rationality to its logic.

I agree but the same could be said for if your friend had ran in & told you he won $10,000 at the casino. Yes you are more likely to believe the cheeseburger than the money but in the end all though unlikely it is feasible.

Website References:
(1) http://ezinearticles.com...
(2) http://everything2.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Austriananarchist

Pro

1. Con seems to introduce another point here. He claims that no one knows God's true limitations, and that we can't know what God's plan is for the big picture. This line of argument seems very similar to the 'God works in mysterious ways' argument. I have earlier argued that we can prove that God can't have have a bigger picture in mind through the process of elimination.

P1. An all-loving God would only allow suffering if it is in pursuit of something which He values as higher than human happiness.
P2. An omnipotent God would achieve any such higher values without allowing suffering, except in cases where suffering is logically necessary for achievement of that value.
P3. An omnipotent, all-loving God would only allow suffering to achieve values for which suffering is logically necessary. (from 1 and 2)
P4. Since these values are greater than suffering, and suffering necessarily must occur for achievement of these values, God would cause or allow suffering in all situations possible in order to maximize this value.
P5. Suffering does not exist in all situations possible.

2. Con then states his definition of evil. I agree that this is a good definition of moral evil; however, philosophers also describe natural evil, which is anything which produces suffering and unhappiness which is not a moral agent (in other words, a human). Examples of moral evil can include natural disasters, disease, and starvation.

3. Regarding free will, Con concedes that our choices come from an outside influence, but then states that he still believes in free will. I will assume he means libertarian free will, as I have already shown how compatabilist free will is insufficient. He claims that a child who grows up in a family that loves basketball still has the choice not to like it. The problem with this contention is that it ignores the fact that for libertarian free will to exist, he must freely choose whether he likes basketball or not; however, the choice, like any other, is determined by his values already held, the same can be said of those values, and the next, ad infinitum. To escape infinite regress, we must posit an initial value, which is not chosen. This means that all of our values, and by extension our actions, are necessarily determined by a value which was not freely chosen.

4. Regarding the Bible, Con agrees with me that proving some Biblical claims does not prove the rest of the Bible.

5. Con asks what's wrong with the Bible, because even if some of it is fabricated, it still makes peoples lives better. Here I am inclined to agree that Christianity does improve people's lives. Despite the extensive damage religion has caused historically, today it arguably stands to confer a net gain, at least in the western world. However, this does not mean that it is true. If this were a debate on whether or not religion is beneficial, I would likely stand in limited agreement. However, this is a debate on the truth of religion, so this point is simply not relevant to the subject.

6. Con next claims that those who are more unlikely to pass on Judgment Day can go to a different type of heaven, stating that God wants us to prove ourselves worthy to go to heaven. The first problem with this is that it still offers less happiness to those who do not pass God's test; however, if God is all-loving, he will desire everyone to get the most happiness, not just the best. Next, God, being omniscient, already knows who's worthy and who isn't, so what is there to prove? Third, the reason the USMC does not let everybody in is because not everybody has sufficient capabilities to join; however, God, being our creator, could simply create us all in such a way that he considers us to be worthy. For this reason, comparing heaven to the marines is a flawed analogy.

7. Con next theorizes that other countries suffer because of their religion. I would agree that religion has a hand in the quality of life in a country; however, I also would claim that what affects quality of life is more dent on the nature of the religion than the religion itself. However, this still leads us to ask why God would allow other religions to exist and Christianity to develop into a religion of a harmful nature. If the root of suffering in Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, and any other non-Christian country is the lack of Christianity, then why does God do nothing to fix this problem?

8. In response to my claim that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, Con claims that you are more likely believe a friend if he claims he ate a cheeseburger than you are if he claims to have won $10,000 at the casino, but it still is feasible. This misses the point; my claim is that the more unlikely an event is, the more evidence one is justified in demanding. As such, the Bible claiming Jesus existed may be sufficient to make me believe he existed, but it is not enough to get me to believe the more extraordinary claims about him. I hold supernatural events to a higher epistemological standard than existence, as it is far more likely for someone to exist than for them to perform miracles.

I would like to thank Con for participating in this debate.

To conclude, I believe I have rebutted all of Con's major points, and ask voters to consider this and vote pro.
Evolution078

Con

1. I would like to quote pros point; "This line of argument seems very similar to the 'God works in mysterious ways' argument. I have earlier argued that we can prove that God can't have a bigger picture in mind through the process of elimination." I cede with the fact that we have debated this already, There is no further reason to badger the matter, the audience is then left up to decide the case. But to strengthen my point I will cite my points; "I admit
that Pro holds a extremely valid point, But now I would like to ask Pro this, How well do you know god? Do you both go out on the weekend & have a few beers? My point I am trying to make is that no one knows gods true limitations. We have seen what he can do thus far, but we have not seen what he can't do. Who is to say that god could not have made a perfect earth? In fact he did when he had created the heavens, We are mortals, how are we to know what
gods big picture is?" Pro repeatedly assumes that because our world is not perfect, god is not omnipotent. For Pro to be able to prove his theory he would need to prove to all of us that he knows god as well as his own son" Case in point all ending decisions will be purely based on faith of the individual. If Christianity was so easily proved by us, wouldn't we all be Christian or Anarchist? I would like the audience to base their decision upon the fact I have successfully repelled all of Pros reasoning as to why Christianity does not exist. And also be reminded that no one can actually prove based upon fact that God does or does not exist.

2. I would like to quote Chengste a user on Debate.Org who had posted in our comments section; "I have read several of your debates about evil and God, not once have you answered the most pressing question. What is evil? Until you do that how can you even argue this or some of your other debates?" Pro has stated what a philosophers definition of evil once was in round 4 but had never told us what he believed evil was. Pros definition of evil may include natural disasters, where mine is limited to organisms with a consciousness. I believe that a tornado has no conscious & no one can create the act. Therefore it is impossible to declare it being an act of evil. All though Pro may feel it is evil for God to allow such suffering within our world, he then would contradict his belief for the fact that he is admittedly believes God does not exist.

3. Pro & I have discussed the topic of free will within this debate. I am a firm believer that you can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink. Regardless of the fact that I believe that a free will does exist, The con and those that believe otherwise will go about their beliefs. Just because our actions are based upon an outside influence does not mean we all do not have free wills. If I choose BK over McDonald's would be one example of a free will.

4. Point ceded providing some Biblical claims does not prove the rest of the Bible. Also proving a tornado is an act of evil does not prove that an omnipotent God does not exist.

5. I agree, this debate is not based upon the fact that the Bible does help peoples lives. But proving some of the stories with in the bible may not be accurate or may not exist at all does not prove what the Pro is trying to debate; "The Problem of Evil Disproves an All-Loving, All-Powerful God".

6. God only desires that the ones who believe in Jesus Christ (If debating about Roman Catholicism) are the ones that should receive eternal happiness. God had created us in such a way that he feels worthy for the fact that he gives us free will. Did you not choose to be an Anarchist over any other religion? God wants us to essentially own up to our sins, Another way of looking at it is this. A Judge gets presented with a case, He has all the facts before then but it is then up to him to make the decision. This does not prove that god is not an omnipotent in any sense. All military branches go through MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) Which then decide if you are physically & mentally capable for the military. Once you take on the life of a recruit with in the USMC they then break you to build you back up. Any one that wants to achieve the title of a US Marine can. If your heart is set upon it and your willing to push yourself farther than you ever have then you too can become a US Marine. It comes down to if you believe that you can achieve anything you set out to do.

7. God does do things to fix this problem, they are called Missionaries. Missionaries go out to spread the word of god, I have yet to hear one person say that they have not run into a missionary within their lives. God again proves he is all loving be spreading the word. He also shows he is omnipotent for sending those that don't believe into hell & many of the other reasons discussed within this debate.

8. For the last point Pro says he is more inclined to believe Jesus existed than to have been able to have performed miracles. I cede to the fact that it is more believable to think he had existed. But in the end this doesn't prove that Jesus was not capable of performing miracles.

================
Conclusion
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Further more Pro was unable to successfully prove that The Problem of Evil Disproves an All-Loving, All-Powerful God. Voters should be advised to vote not for what they believe, but vote on the quality of the argument. I would again like to thank the Pro for the chance to take this debate. I would also like to thank the voters, who have followed this debate.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by legendaryangel 6 years ago
legendaryangel
Anarchist, using a philosophy of a human mind in 2010 AD by humans of this generation is totally irrelevant to the philosophy and ones interpretation of an author of the biblical times when he wrote the bible....

The obvious answer is: If God doesn't intervene we have free will, if he does intervene then we do not have free will...

It's basically as simple as that...That's really all it is

The coin flip shows that you can chose whatever, it is a simple as that...physics won't control my mind to flip the coin again if I do not recieve a favorable flip. It's a simple as that.
Posted by Austriananarchist 6 years ago
Austriananarchist
@legendaryangel

On the first point, I gave a syllogism that proves, through the process of elimination, that God cannot be all loving. The next round con didn't even address the argument and said it was all up to faith.To this I would reply, "Is your disbelief in married bachelors, visible pink unicorns or square circles a matter of faith?" If an entity can be shown to logically contradict itself or reality, it no longer remans a matter of faith.

On free will, you re ignoring the fact that I have already acknowledged that free will does exist in the compatibilist sense; however, I already showed how the compatabilist definition is insufficient for a free will defense, as God's altering of our values would not breach our free will, as the ability to choose one's values is not a component of compatibilist freedom. If, by free will, you mean the ability to choose otherwise, then not only does my syllogism disprove it, but God's foreknowledge also disproves it, as choosing otherwise would necessitate that God was wrong in what he foresaw.

Regarding the coin example, a coin flip is a nonrandom event, one which we're simply unable to predict. As soon as the coin leaves your hand, the laws of physics take over and predetermine what will happen. Anyways, as long as the outcome of the coin flip wasn't within your control, you do not ultimately decide your course of action. Lastly, your values, which were ultimately undecided, were what determined your decision to flip the coin in the first place, so you lack libertarian freedom even in the decision to flip the coin in the first place.
Posted by legendaryangel 6 years ago
legendaryangel
Good job Con, stating that only an all powerful and all knowing entity knows how and all powerful and all knowing entity would act like. It's very silly whenever a human tries to think like a supernatural being and tries to justify how a supernatural being should act like, no human on this earth has the credibility to talk like they know god or any type of supernatural being, and know how he or she should act, unless however they are supernatural themselves.

I would bring up some versus in the bible that support free will such as Dueteronomy 30:19 and Joshua 25:14

Bringing up the fact that even if god knows how our lives are planned out, it doesn't effect our free will, because he does not intervene in it. As far as I know..no human has ever been mind controlled by the lord since the biblical times.

To support free will, get a coin, have heads = one action, and tails = another action...flip the coin, and choose the action in which the coin lands as. Unless you can prove that god took control of that coin, you just showed free will. If you can prove that god took control of that coin flip, keep flipping it until it lands on the opposite action. There is your support for free will.
Posted by InquireTruth 6 years ago
InquireTruth
Both are equally subjective, especially when you give the proviso "to me."
Posted by LiquidLiquid 6 years ago
LiquidLiquid
*aggressing
Posted by LiquidLiquid 6 years ago
LiquidLiquid
I'm just saying a Christian will say masturbation or doing drugs is "evil", but to me a person aggression against another is evil.
Posted by InquireTruth 6 years ago
InquireTruth
"Also, evil is pretty subjective to a certain extent (unless you judge by the non-aggression principle as I do)"

You do see the irony here, right?
Posted by LiquidLiquid 6 years ago
LiquidLiquid
The problem of evil doesn't apply to a deistic or pantheistic deity. Just saying. Also, evil is pretty subjective to a certain extent (unless you judge by the non-aggression principle as I do), and I'd say humans create most of it.
Posted by Ls4baseball 6 years ago
Ls4baseball
man i wish I had seen this one to accept. If your ever doing this one again let me know.
Posted by Austriananarchist 6 years ago
Austriananarchist
I my debates I use the word 'evil' to mean suffering and unhappiness. While this may not be a proper definition of evil, you can just replace every instance on the word 'evil' with 'suffering', and all of my arguments seem to apply.
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Abomination666
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