The Instigator
Magicr
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

The Problem of Evil: The existence of unnecessary suffering makes a perfect God impossible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,566 times Debate No: 29132
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

Magicr

Pro

Resolution and Burden of Proof


As Pro, I will be affirming he resolution: The existence of unnecessary suffering makes a perfect God impossible.

I bear the initial BoP in this debate to affirm the resolution. It is not necessary for Con to make a positive case affirming the opposite of the resolution, his BoP is to demonstrate that I have not met mine.


Definitions


Unnecessary suffering
- the state or experience of one that endures pain, death, etc. that is not necessary.

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com.../


Perfect God
- The omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good supernatural being that is said to have created the Universe and has an interest in human affairs. It should be noted that for the sake of this debate, this God is subject to the laws of logic, ie He/She/It could not create a four sided triangle.

From this point on, any mention of God, other than a mention that states that it is referring to a different definition, will be understood to mean the God described in this definition.


Impossible
- “incapable of being or of occurring”

Also from Merriam-Webster online.



Basis of the Pro Case

The following syllogism is the argument that I will be defending in this debate:


P1. If there exists unnecessary suffering in the world, a perfect God is incapable of being.
P2. There exists unnecessary suffering in the word.
C. Therefore, a perfect God is incapable of being.


The argument is logically valid as the conclusion follows from the premises in the form:


P1. If P, then Q.
P2. P.
C. Therefore, Q.


If I can demonstrate the truth of the premises, then I have fulfilled my BoP.

Rules

1. No semantic or abusive arguments that take the debate away from it’s intended meaning. Such arguments shall not be counted.


2. Drops shall count as concessions.


3. No new arguments in the last round.


Con may use the first round for acceptance, or he may make initial arguments against the syllogism.

I look forward to an intellectually stimulating debate.


Marauder

Con


I accept this debate and all of Pro’s terms and definitions.


As Pro stated it is he who has the Burdon of Proof this debate, so it is tempting for me to simply accept and wait refute whatever attempt my opponent makes to prove his position as that is all I need to do this debate.



But I’m not a man that likes to do just what he has to, and since I have to option, I will opt to make some initial arguments.


Unnecessary:


I anticipate no matter what arguments Pro makes next round, if it is going to try and prove P1 and P2, then I will show either of the premises can be considered false depending on how your look at what is ‘unnecessary’.


A view on ‘Unnecessary’ that rebuts P1:


The first view is probably the view I expect you are taking where we will for all purposes consider P2 correct that the suffering in the world is unnecessary. Because God is perfectly all-good, you might argue he would not create suffering if it was possible to create the earth any other way. But this logic fails do to the fact that it forgetfully exempts other causes for the suffering. The Perfect God has not created suffering, Humans have.


A view on ‘Unnecessary’ that rebuts P2:


However for the moment let us assume P1 to be correct then there is a view on what suffering we call ‘unnecessary’ that would rule out all existing suffering as qualifying as unnecessary. God being perfect , omnigood, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, would only make his creations with Free Will. That is the good thing to do. And it is the only sensible thing to do. A Creating God like the one described is a description of an inherently perfect complete being. He does not need the existence you or I to complete or sustain himself in anyway or he would not be omnipresent and omnipotent. And given who he is that makes his possible purposes for creating at all more clear. We can only be here for him to love us and for us to love him back. This does not happen with beings who work automatically, doing only as he has programmed us to do like a robot. This must be done with something who’s consciousness is more than of a Programmed Logic Controller. The only kind of love there is any point in making can only come from one that has the power and resources within itself to choose to give this love or to not give it. It requires his creation have Free Will.


And because it is necessary that we should have Free Will you could say because suffering is a product of that Free Will that suffering is necessary, that without the Rain we would not have the Rainbows.


My own argument from both of these views:


My own case that I defend comes from both of these points. I defend that it could only have been necessary that the Perfect God would create his creations with Free Will, and while I do not believe the creations act of Free Will to bring torment and suffering into the world was inherently necessary for the creation to choose, that it could have chosen otherwise, that is not the way it happened.


To paraphrase a statement made by John Wesley, “while the fall from paradise is the most tragic event in history, we can count it a blessing at the same time, because had it never happened we would not have gotten to see just how far our God was willing to go to redeem his creation”


So to summarize my own arguments in logic format:


P1) a perfect God would not create suffering


P2) a perfect God might create humans though


P3) a perfect God would create us with Free Will if he created us as all


P4) Free Will comes with the potential to do good or evil


C1) given P2, P3, and P4 suffering could exist without God creating it


P5) Free Will continues to be a necessary existence a perfect God would maintain in his creations today


C2) given C1 and P5 we can see that suffering could coexist with the perfect God



I await Pro opening arguments and his attempt to meet Burdon of Proof.
Debate Round No. 1
Magicr

Pro

Thank you to Marauder for accepting this debate. I look forward to exploring some ideas I’ve recently been thinking about.

Introduction

In this round I intend provide a warrent for each premise of my argument. I explained in my first round why the argument is valid, and, as my opponent has not challenged this, I assume that he accepts the validity. Therefore, if I successfully defend each premise, I have indeed fulfilled my BoP. Additionally, I will address the initial statements made by my opponent.

P1. If there exists unnecessary suffering in the world, a perfect God is incapable of being.

This premise is confirmed by definition. Good is defined as “To be desired or approved of” [1]. Suffering is obviously not “to be desired or approved of.” As God is perfectly good, He/She/It would oppose suffering.

Because God is also omnipotent, He/She/It has the power to stop all suffering in the world. Therefore, P1 is affirmed.

P2. Unnecessary suffering exists.

It is clear based on our everyday experiences that a great deal of pain, death, and loss occur on a very regular biases. Suffering obviously exists. But the question that must be answered to confirm this premise is whether that suffering is necessary.

It was agreed that unnecessary suffering would be defined as suffering that is not necessary. A reasonable definition of necessary as applied to the resolution is “absolutely needed” [1]. As God is all-powerful, suffering is not absolutely needed, and is therefore unnecessary.

P2 is also affirmed.

C. Therefore, a perfect God is incapable of being.

Because the argument is sound and valid, the conclusion is affirmed.

Rebuttals

Con first writes: The first view is probably the view I expect you are taking where we will for all purposes consider P2 correct that the suffering in the world is unnecessary. Because God is perfectly all-good, you might argue he would not create suffering if it was possible to create the earth any other way. But this logic fails do to the fact that it forgetfully exempts other causes for the suffering. The Perfect God has not created suffering, Humans have.

He was indeed correct in predicting the form my argument would take. I must, however, raise two objections to statements he made.

The first point deals with his argument that there are other causes of suffering than God. This point is, however, irrelevant because as long as there is one instance in which God is responsible for unnecessary suffering, then the resolution is affirmed. There is no doubt that there are many of these instances. As God is omnipotent and the creator of the Universe (space-time), God must exist outside of time and have the ability to see the future. This means that he would know any suffering that his actions would cause. Because he created a universe that allows for much suffering that is not caused by humans, we can conclude that Con’s proposition that “The Perfect God has not created suffering, Humans have,” is false. In fact, even if humans create a certain amount of suffering, God is still responsible because his omnipotent power could prevent it.

This in no way rebuts P1. If unnecessary suffering exists, an omnipotent creator is responsible.

“A view on ‘Unnecessary’ that rebuts P2”

Pro’s arguments here do not rebut P2. As I have already explained, there exists much suffering that is not the result of human free will.

Additionally, Con has not proven that humans do in fact have free will. This is a topic that is the subject of much debate in the scientific and philosophic communities. Therefore, if Con wishes to invoke this positive claim as part of his case, he must demonstrate that free will exists.

Con’s formal logic

P1) a perfect God would not create suffering

Agreed.

P2) a perfect God might create humans though

In creating humans, however, a perfect God would know that he was indirectly creating suffering. P1 and P2 refute each other.

P3) a perfect God would create us with Free Will if he created us as all

This premise has not been fully demonstrated. Insects do not have conscious free will making them capable of the loving relationship described by Con, yet God created them. Is it not possible that God created humans only for the same reason he created flies?

P4) Free Will comes with the potential to do good or evil

Agreed.

C1) given P2, P3, and P4 suffering could exist without God creating it

Because most of the premises are rejected, the conclusion is as well.

P5) Free Will continues to be a necessary existence a perfect God would maintain in his creations today

C2) given C1 and P5 we can see that suffering could coexist with the perfect God

This still does not address suffering not caused by human free will.

Conclusion

I have demonstrated why each of the premises in my argument are true as well as why Con’s arguments are not.

The resolution is affirmed.

Sources:

[1]- http://www.merriam-webster.com...


Marauder

Con

Marauder forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Magicr

Pro

Arguments extended.
Marauder

Con

I am so very sorry for the forfiet, a big snow storm caused the power to be out in half of my county for a few days. I really want to do this debate to its fullest, would you mind just starting a new debate with 3 rounds, the first round containing just a link back to this debate, and I will give my round 2 rebutal in this new debates round 1?
Debate Round No. 3
Magicr

Pro

I understand. Because of this I ask that this debate be left tied by the voters, but tune in to our extension of this debate.
Marauder

Con

Thank You. and I ask the same of the voters to this debate, leave this a tie but stay tuned in!
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dragourfer 4 years ago
Dragourfer
@ Giraffelover - Well, first there is Zero evidence that any god exist (Yes, even the Jewish/Christian/Islamic god), yet you believe that this god you have Zero proof of, gave you free will, including free will to believe, or not to believe in him/she/it. That really fits the definition of Ridiculous. This sounds like a fairytale made up by 6 year olds!
Posted by giraffelover 4 years ago
giraffelover
Why is it so ridiculous to believe God gave us free will? I believe God created a good being named Lucifer, but PERMITTED him to choose good or evil. How is that ridiculous? It also fits PERFECTLY with what the Bible says.
Posted by Dragourfer 4 years ago
Dragourfer
@ Marauder: You are completely wrong because I took into consideration everything that is "logically necessary" before making my statement. The fact is that the religious zealots want it both ways, and they can not handle being questioned on these issues. When confronted with these issues, the religious use the same two cop-outs; 1. God gave us free will. 2. God works in mysterious ways. Both answers are of course, ridiculous.
Posted by Marauder 4 years ago
Marauder
@Kalbomb: Your suggested argument assumes that the Creation could only have acted in the way it did thus their would be something for the all knowing to 'know' about the Creations future choice at that point.
@Dragourfer: your scoffing remarks implied argument does not take into account the logically necessary consequences of the quality of Omni-Good next to all the other qualities you have considered.
@Gordontrek: True Dat! :) once in eternity this fraction of our lives that had all the trails and suffering will seem a trivial amount of our existence to have bore such burdens.
Posted by Dragourfer 4 years ago
Dragourfer
This statement from the Contender says it all: "The Perfect God has not created suffering, Humans have." Really! Humans have! That is the Biggest cop-out Ever! First the religious believers claim their god is omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresent, and created absolutely everything, but all the bad things are caused by us. Well then, I guess your made-up god get a free pass!
Posted by Gordontrek 4 years ago
Gordontrek
"Count it all joy, brethren, when you face various trials."

I don't care what happens to me on this earth. I don't care if I suffer horribly, if I'm treated unjustly, if I lose everything I have.
Because I know where I'm going one day!! "Man is like a breath; his days are but a fleeting shadow."
Posted by Kalbomb 4 years ago
Kalbomb
If it is said that a perfect God creating humans with free will did not necessarily create unnecessary suffering himself, could not the point that a God that should be omnipotent and omniscient would know that the humans would bring it upon themselves once given that free will? Assuming he is in fact omniscient, should he not be aware of such an outcome and so at the very least was quite aware of, at the least, indirectly causing unnecessary suffering to humans?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 4 years ago
Deadlykris
MagicrMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: I think this makes a tie.
Vote Placed by MacGruber 4 years ago
MacGruber
MagicrMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: As asked for.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
MagicrMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: They asked for a tie. A tie they shall receive.