The Instigator
Republican95
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
leet4A1
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

The Problem of Evil can be refutted effectivley.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
leet4A1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,845 times Debate No: 8967
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Republican95

Pro

Problem of Evil-a philosophical argument against the existence of a God who is all-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving based on the premise that if such a God existed the amount of evil and suffering in this world would be significantly less if not non-existent.

I will allow my opponent to establish his/her own version of the problem of evil in round one, and then I will publish a theodicy in round one.

Sources are insignificant, the only source I will be using is my mind and I encourage my opponent to use his.
leet4A1

Con

I thank the good Republican for starting this debate.

I will use this round as my opponent has requested; to establish my "own version" of the problem of evil. I will presume by "own version", my opponent means the version of the problem which most appeals to me as a refutation of a benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient God.

For my mind, the most elegant treatment of the problem is in a little piece (possibly incorrectly) attributed to Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
The he is not omnipotent.
Is God able to prevent evil but not willing?
Then he is not benevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

As my opponent requested, I will leave it there for this round and await his rebuttal.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
Republican95

Pro

I will start by making my own theodicy and then my opponent can fire at will...

There are two types of evil in this world.
(a) Evil humans inflict upon themselves (war, terrorism, crime)
(b) Evil humans do not inflict upon themselves (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes)

This two types of evil can be answered with the same theodicy, this is how it goes:

God has provided the conditions necessary for character development and growth among his creatures. God's intent in creating the world was not to provide a paradise or heaven on earth. God wanted to provide an environment in which beings with moral and spiritual potential could develop and grow in the direction of completeness. But this requires that we be able to cultivate virtues that can't result from a trouble-free existence. Thus God had to allow trouble into the world. The purpose of this world is soul-making. And that is an enterprise that results from grappling with sin, suffering, and pain.

Four distinct factors are required for this theodicy.

(a) There must be free-willed beings. Moral character cannot be stamped on a person from outside; it must be freely cultivated.
(b) There must be an environment in which these beings can exercise their freedom in morally significant ways. That means there must be real moral choices. And there mjst be stable natural laws as the backdrop and stage for moral decision making. A world in which the laws of nature changed all the time would not be context in which rational decisions could be made about how to act. How would you help a thirsty man man if the glass of water you give him could burst into flames? Or How could you feed a starving child if the sandwich you give her could turn into a snake or stone? Stability provides for moral decision making and moral action. But in a stable world, wrong choices can have bad results.
(c) There must be challenges to the characters of the free beings who have been created. In a morally frictionless universe, no one would grow. We grow through conflict and difficultly. So problems must exist.
(d) There must be opportunities for these free beings to respond virtuously as well as viciously to their challenges. The suffering in the world can't thus all be utterly overwhelming. And we can't be led by the hand, metaphysically speaking. We need elbow room for making mistakes as well as for doing good.

I look forward to your rebuttals.
leet4A1

Con

PRO
===
There are two types of evil in this world.
(a) Evil humans inflict upon themselves (war, terrorism, crime)
(b) Evil humans do not inflict upon themselves (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes)
===
Agreed.

PRO
===
"This two types of evil can be answered with the same theodicy, this is how it goes:
God has provided the conditions necessary for character development and growth among his creatures."
===
If God were truly omnipotent, "his creatures" wouldn't need to be raped or tortured as a requisite for character development. If God were truly omniscient, God would know this. If God were truly benevolent, God would do something about it.

PRO
===
"God's intent in creating the world was not to provide a paradise or heaven on earth. God wanted to provide an environment in which beings with moral and spiritual potential could develop and grow in the direction of completeness. But this requires that we be able to cultivate virtues that can't result from a trouble-free existence. Thus God had to allow trouble into the world. The purpose of this world is soul-making. And that is an enterprise that results from grappling with sin, suffering, and pain."
===
My opponent's basic argument appears to be that God put humans on this Earth as a test of our will and our soul, that test being the evil inflicted upon us from birth. I have a few problems with this:
1. What do you mean by completeness? How is it that a 2-year-old girl being raped to death is "developing and growing in the direction of completeness" any more than if she wasn't?
2. Why is the pain God dishes out so uneven? For example, that 2-year-old girl apparently needed to be raped in order to develop and grow in the direction of completeness, so why doesn't everyone need that? Why is this lovely, benevolent creature so blasse with who he has tortured? That is the opposite of benevolent, that is downright evil.
3. If every ounce of pain and anguish we feel is merely character-building, why does pain happen to those who won't remember it, and therefore will not grow from the experience at all (babies, mentally retarded, people with alzheimers, etc.)?
4. How do other animals fit in with this little theory of yours? If I torture a puppy to death over a period of 8 hours, what does that puppy get out of it? There is no reason to believe that the pain they feel is every bit as real, and therefore every bit as evil, as if it were done to a human. But I don't think it's going to build their character in preparation for heaven.
5. A baby is 2 days old. Her father, who was born mentally retarded and doesn't know any better, tortures her (I know this is getting kind of morbid, but that's evil for you) to death over a period of 3 days, every bit of pain imaginable is placed upon this baby. The baby dies and the father kills himself, still unaware that what he's done is wrong. This is, unfortunately, a very real situation and is probably going on somewhere in the world right now. How is any of this character building, and for whom? It sounds like God just enjoys a good torture scene to me.

PRO
===
"(a) There must be free-willed beings. Moral character cannot be stamped on a person from outside; it must be freely cultivated."
===
I don't understand why moral character cannot be stamped on a person from the outside, especially by a being who is supposed to be omnipotent. Indeed, we ARE born with a predisposition to a certain amount of moral character, which is then merely SHAPED by our experiences.

PRO
===
"(b) There must be an environment in which these beings can exercise their freedom in morally significant ways. That means there must be real moral choices. And there mjst be stable natural laws as the backdrop and stage for moral decision making. A world in which the laws of nature changed all the time would not be context in which rational decisions could be made about how to act. How would you help a thirsty man man if the glass of water you give him could burst into flames? Or How could you feed a starving child if the sandwich you give her could turn into a snake or stone? Stability provides for moral decision making and moral action. But in a stable world, wrong choices can have bad results."
===
I'll have to be honest here, I don't really know what my opponent is getting at with this. Are the "stable natural laws" supposed to be addressing natural evil, as defined above? I ask my opponent to please clear this point up in the following round.

PRO
===
"(c) There must be challenges to the characters of the free beings who have been created. In a morally frictionless universe, no one would grow. We grow through conflict and difficultly. So problems must exist."
===
Even if I were to concede that problems must exist (for the reasons above, I would not concede this), surely they don't need to exist to the extent that they do. Don't you think an omni, omni, benev God could rid the world of rape and torture, and still have problems exist? If God exists as described, and sadists exist, God is a sadist. If God exists as described, and rapists exist, God is responsible for rape. He has the power (apparently) to ensure that nobody is ever raped again. He can keep pain, he can keep natural disasters, he can keep the war and violence he appears to enjoy watching, but just get rid of rape. What is it about this omni, omni, benev being that precludes him from doing this?

PRO
===
"(d) There must be opportunities for these free beings to respond virtuously as well as viciously to their challenges. The suffering in the world can't thus all be utterly overwhelming. And we can't be led by the hand, metaphysically speaking. We need elbow room for making mistakes as well as for doing good."
===
i) Babies can't respond AT ALL when they are being tortured or raped, so how may they respond "virtuously and viciously" to this "challenge"?
ii) You don't think the suffering in the world is "utterly overwhelming"? My man, I suggest a trip to Africa (any country will do), where you will watch children slowly starve to death in a puddle of their own feces. If the very thought of that doesn't overwhelm you, I don't know what will.
iii) If we all need elbow room for making mistakes and for doing good, why do so many people die before they get a chance to do either?

I'll leave it there for this round, and I thank my opponent. I also apologize again for the constant rape, torture and baby remarks, but I don't think a discussion on evil would be complete without them. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
Republican95

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

My opponent's attacks falls into two categories.

My Opponent: "1. What do you mean by completeness? How is it that a 2-year-old girl being raped to death is "developing and growing in the direction of completeness" any more than if she wasn't?"

Rape is a consequence of free will. So, the man who raped this child was operating under free will. Therefore, the rape is his fault, not God's fault. My theodicy states that there must be free will. A world without free will would be a slave universe with no potential for moral or character growth. Therefore, my theodicy allows for child rape.

My Opponent: "3. If every ounce of pain and anguish we feel is merely character-building, why does pain happen to those who won't remember it, and therefore will not grow from the experience at all (babies, mentally retarded, people with Alzheimer's, etc.)?"

Well, some of this evil is from free will (see above argument). However, some of this evil is not. This evil (such as a baby being orphaned) can still be beneficial to character growth, just not the growth of these people. Like a orphaned baby allows for a couple to adopt the child, adoption, I think (and so should a mentally sane person think) is a good thing in this world. So, the death of the child's parents allowed for something good to happen (it provided a couple with a child). To have a child is a chance to establish a loving experience that will last a life time.

My Opponent: "4. How do other animals fit in with this little theory of yours? If I torture a puppy to death over a period of 8 hours, what does that puppy get out of it? There is no reason to believe that the pain they feel is every bit as real, and therefore every bit as evil, as if it were done to a human. But I don't think it's going to build their character in preparation for heaven."

In the eyes of God, animal life isn't equal to that of human life (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, the death of animals is just a way God keeps the animal population in check. As for animal torture, it establishes in Genesis 1:26 that humans can do whatever they want with animals, and therefore animal torture isn't evil. The Problem of Evil cannot exist without evil.

My Opponent: "5. A baby is 2 days old. Her father, who was born mentally retarded and doesn't know any better, tortures her (I know this is getting kind of morbid, but that's evil for you) to death over a period of 3 days, every bit of pain imaginable is placed upon this baby. The baby dies and the father kills himself, still unaware that what he's done is wrong. This is, unfortunately, a very real situation and is probably going on somewhere in the world right now. How is any of this character building, and for whom? It sounds like God just enjoys a good torture scene to me."

This is actually a scenario in which God works around free will to lessen the impact of evil. The man tortured the child because he had free will, God doesn't interfere with Free Will. God dishes out his punishment after our death. God allowing this child to die was a sign of civility on God's part, he put the child out of its pain and killed it. As for the man's suicide, that is free will.

My Opponent: "I don't understand why moral character cannot be stamped on a person from the outside, especially by a being who is supposed to be omnipotent. Indeed, we ARE born with a predisposition to a certain amount of moral character, which is then merely SHAPED by our experiences."

My opponent conceded that our moral character is SHAPED by our experiences, therefore "experiences" (evil) must exist. As for the stamping of moral character, this wouldn't be a true moral character because it was implemented not "grown".

My Opponent: "I'll have to be honest here, I don't really know what my opponent is getting at with this. Are the "stable natural laws" supposed to be addressing natural evil, as defined above? I ask my opponent to please clear this point up in the following round."

By stable natural laws I mean God limits himself in power. He has the power to do anything, but doesn't. So, when God sees a poor starving African child he cannot make food magically appear in front of him (it would violate a law). On the same subject the child must starve because the consequence of not eating is starvation, and the child must die because the consequence of starvation is death. Why must starvation be so painful? Because if the poor African child wasn't in pain then his fellow humanoids wouldn't have any motivation to help him, and no moral growth would take place.

My Opponent: "Even if I were to concede that problems must exist (for the reasons above, I would not concede this), surely they don't need to exist to the extent that they do. Don't you think an omni, omni, benev God could rid the world of rape and torture, and still have problems exist? If God exists as described, and sadists exist, God is a sadist. If God exists as described, and rapists exist, God is responsible for rape. He has the power (apparently) to ensure that nobody is ever raped again. He can keep pain, he can keep natural disasters, he can keep the war and violence he appears to enjoy watching, but just get rid of rape. What is it about this omni, omni, benev being that precludes him from doing this?"

Question to my opponent: Who are you to say this? Maybe God has shielded us from 90% of evil in this world, and we just have to experience the least evil 10% of it? The amount of evil is a comparative thing, and since there is no other universe to compare it to, who are you to say?

My Opponent: "Babies can't respond AT ALL when they are being tortured or raped, so how may they respond "virtuously and viciously" to this "challenge"?"

But if you see a child getting raped YOU can respond viciously or virtuously. You can either take the "I don't want to get involved" approach or help the child. Your response can allow moral development.

My Opponent: ii) "You don't think the suffering in the world is "utterly overwhelming"? My man, I suggest a trip to Africa (any country will do), where you will watch children slowly starve to death in a puddle of their own feces. If the very thought of that doesn't overwhelm you, I don't know what will."

Once again, see the point about the "10% of evil" hypothesis above.

My Opponent: iii) If we all need elbow room for making mistakes and for doing good, why do so many people die before they get a chance to do either?

You mean why do babies die? Just like giving birth of a child, the death of a child can allow for the parents to grow morally. Only a challenged life is a life worth living.

I turn it back over to my opponent.
leet4A1

Con

Thanks to my opponent for a very thorough response.

===
PRO
"Rape is a consequence of free will. So, the man who raped this child was operating under free will. Therefore, the rape is his fault, not God's fault. My theodicy states that there must be free will. A world without free will would be a slave universe with no potential for moral or character growth. Therefore, my theodicy allows for child rape."
===
REBUTTAL
This is a big old fail for one reason; not everybody operates under what you call "free will". There are people whose minds are set from birth to become sadists, rapists, murderers. They cannot help it. Think about mentally retarded people who legitimately don't know right from wrong. Even if I were to concede that everyone else has free will, there are certainly those on the planet who have no control over their actions whatsoever. Where does free will come into that?
Also, just because we are allowed to do anything within the rules, why did God make the rules as he did? For example, I wish to use my free will to fly, but God has made this impossible. Why could he not still give us free will but eliminate rape and torture entirely?

===
PRO
"Well, some of this evil is from free will (see above argument). However, some of this evil is not. This evil (such as a baby being orphaned) can still be beneficial to character growth, just not the growth of these people. Like a orphaned baby allows for a couple to adopt the child, adoption, I think (and so should a mentally sane person think) is a good thing in this world. So, the death of the child's parents allowed for something good to happen (it provided a couple with a child). To have a child is a chance to establish a loving experience that will last a life time."
==
REBUTTAL
First of all, this doesn't address my point at all (mentally retarded people, those with alzheimers, etc.). Second, this is just silly. Two people are tortured and slain ahead of their time just so another two can have a child. Why did God need to make the second couple sterile in the first place? If this is how God operates, he's not only evil, he's stupid and inefficient too.

===
PRO
"In the eyes of God, animal life isn't equal to that of human life (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, the death of animals is just a way God keeps the animal population in check. As for animal torture, it establishes in Genesis 1:26 that humans can do whatever they want with animals, and therefore animal torture isn't evil. The Problem of Evil cannot exist without evil."
===
REBUTTAL
We are not talking about the Christian God, so the Bible is not a suitable source. We are talking about a nameless creator, whose attributes supposedly include omnipotence, benevolence, omniscience. If this being sees torturing a human as evil but not a chimpanzee, this being is pure evil. If animals being tortured were part of his master plan, and he wasn't pure evil, he wouldn't have given them pain receptors.

===
PRO
"This is actually a scenario in which God works around free will to lessen the impact of evil. The man tortured the child because he had free will, God doesn't interfere with Free Will. God dishes out his punishment after our death. God allowing this child to die was a sign of civility on God's part, he put the child out of its pain and killed it. As for the man's suicide, that is free will."
===
REBUTTAL
You have provided nothing to show that any punishment will be dished out after death. Once again, the Bible is not a suitable source. Even if that's the case, it's too little too late for that tortured child, and the fact remains that God allowed a preventable evil to occur for days straight. Also, don't bring free will into this one, because the man in question was mentally retarded from birth and had no knowledge that his actions were wrong. Another fault by a being which would NOT occur if he were actually omni, omni, benev.

===
PRO
"By stable natural laws I mean God limits himself in power. He has the power to do anything, but doesn't. So, when God sees a poor starving African child he cannot make food magically appear in front of him (it would violate a law). On the same subject the child must starve because the consequence of not eating is starvation, and the child must die because the consequence of starvation is death. Why must starvation be so painful? Because if the poor African child wasn't in pain then his fellow humanoids wouldn't have any motivation to help him, and no moral growth would take place."
===
REBUTTAL
This, again, fails is several places. What about the millions starving to death and about whom the fellow "humanoids" don't even know? How is anyone to grow by that experience. Once again, it sounds like your god just likes to watch people suffer. So your god just causes people to suffer so that others may learn lessons that your god could just implant in their minds from birth, or have them learn in another, less evil way? Which part of this makes him/her benevolent, because I can't find it?

===
PRO
"Question to my opponent: Who are you to say this? Maybe God has shielded us from 90% of evil in this world, and we just have to experience the least evil 10% of it? The amount of evil is a comparative thing, and since there is no other universe to compare it to, who are you to say?"
===
REBUTTAL
This is a massive contradiction from my opponent. If your god is so obsessed with making us learn lessons and all that, as you've so fervently asserted, then why would he shield us from 90% of evil? More to the point, why would he have created those evils in the first place, even though he was planning on shielding us from them? These are not the actions of an omniscient, omnipotent being.

===
PRO
"But if you see a child getting raped YOU can respond viciously or virtuously. You can either take the "I don't want to get involved" approach or help the child. Your response can allow moral development."
===
REBUTTAL
I'm starting to wonder if my opponent understands the weight of the words we are throwing around here. What of the millions of rapes committed every year which are seen by nobody but your "benevolent" god? Perhaps your god needs a bit of "moral development", because if we are to accept that he's omnipotent and omniscient, then he is clearly far from benevolent.

===
PRO
"Once again, see the point about the "10% of evil" hypothesis above."
===
REBUTTAL
Once again, the "10% of evil" hypothesis above was a complete contradiction of your entire theodicy.

===
PRO
My Opponent: iii) If we all need elbow room for making mistakes and for doing good, why do so many people die before they get a chance to do either?

You mean why do babies die? Just like giving birth of a child, the death of a child can allow for the parents to grow morally. Only a challenged life is a life worth living."
===
REBUTTAL
I apologize, but this is just silly. I hope my opponent never serves as a judge, because I'd hate to see a mass-murderer released without charge because his actions allowed the police officers who arrested him to do good and grow morally. You asserted that we ALL, every one of us, need elbow room for making mistakes and for doing good, so I ask again, why is it that so many of us die before we get a chance to do either? I will also return to a point you've failed to answer to so far; why is it that so many people are born without the wherewithal to make decisions or think in a way that would even allow them to act morally? This comes solely down to your god, you can't blame it on free will, so just where does it fit into an omni, omni, benev being's master plan?

Thanks again to my opponent, I look forward to his rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 3
Republican95

Pro

I thank my opponent for his thoroughness.

My Opponent: "This is a big old fail for one reason; not everybody operates under what you call "free will". There are people whose minds are set from birth to become sadists, rapists, murderers."

So, people are born as rapists and murderers? How is that so? What evidence do you have to prove that? Maybe the fact that they are rapists and murderers are actually results of a bad upbringing, which is the parents' fault, due to free will, not God's.

My Opponent: "Think about mentally retarded people who legitimately don't know right from wrong."

Why are there mentally retarded people in our society? The parents of mentally retarded people are to blame here, most of them have free will. Why wasn't he institutionalized or TAUGHT right from wrong (most mentally retarded people can still be taught what is acceptable or not). Even this is the result of wrongdoing on the part of humans. So then, if mentally retarded people are meant to be institutionalized why did God create them? God made these people for the very purpose of soul-making. I know a couple with a down-syndrome child, and they have conceded that it is more of a blessing than a curse.; most down-syndrome children are very happy children.

My Opponent: "Also, just because we are allowed to do anything within the rules, why did God make the rules as he did? For example, I wish to use my free will to fly, but God has made this impossible. Why could he not still give us free will but eliminate rape and torture entirely?"

Because being able to fly doesn't encourage soul-making on any level. BUT NEITHER DOES RAPE AND TORTURE, my opponent will probably say. Once again, rape and torture are consequences of free will, and therefore human's fault, not God's.

My Opponent: "Two people are tortured and slain ahead of their time just so another two can have a child. Why did God need to make the second couple sterile in the first place? If this is how God operates, he's not only evil, he's stupid and inefficient too."

Everybody has to die. The slaying of them is, again, the consequence of free will. Secondly, only some adoptive parents are sterile, I know of several who are not and just wish to raise children who wouldn't otherwise have parents. But, for the sake of this debate, let's suppose that this couple is sterile. So, the fact that these people cannot have children of their own INCLINES them to adopt this child, and by adopting this orphaned child, they help her in the long run.

My Opponent: "If this being sees torturing a human as evil but not a chimpanzee, this being is pure evil."

No, he just doesn't equate animal life with human life.

My Opponent: "What about the millions starving to death and about whom the fellow "humanoids" don't even know?"

Who's fault is it that we don't know about them? I think that it is yours and mine, not God's.

My Opponent: "More to the point, why would he have created those evils in the first place, even though he was planning on shielding us from them?"

Maybe he didn't create them. If their is an all-powerful loving being, who is to say that there isn't an all-powerful evil being (Satan).

My Opponent: "What of the millions of rapes committed every year which are seen by nobody but your "benevolent" god?"

Rape is the consequence of free will.

I rest my case.
leet4A1

Con

===
PRO
"So, people are born as rapists and murderers? How is that so? What evidence do you have to prove that? Maybe the fact that they are rapists and murderers are actually results of a bad upbringing, which is the parents' fault, due to free will, not God's."
===
REBUTTAL
People are born with mental disorders which predispose them to rape and murder, a lot of the time genuinely unaware that what they've done is wrong. This is an undeniable fact (my opponent asked that no sources be presented, so I won't, but it's clearly true), and this alone ruins my opponent's theodicy. It has nothing to do with nature, free will or upbringing, so everything to do with an omni, omni god, who clearly isn't benevolent.

===
PRO
"Why are there mentally retarded people in our society? The parents of mentally retarded people are to blame here, most of them have free will. Why wasn't he institutionalized or TAUGHT right from wrong (most mentally retarded people can still be taught what is acceptable or not). Even this is the result of wrongdoing on the part of humans. So then, if mentally retarded people are meant to be institutionalized why did God create them? God made these people for the very purpose of soul-making. I know a couple with a down-syndrome child, and they have conceded that it is more of a blessing than a curse.; most down-syndrome children are very happy children.
===
REBUTTAL
Wow. My opponent's first two sentences here not only make me cringe, they are also an unwilling admission of defeat by my opponent. Not only has he attempted to turn psychology on its head by suggesting that all mental disorders are borne of bad parenting (how can you say that if your friend's child has down syndrome?), but he also says that "most" parents have free will. My opponent is admitting here that not all people have what we like to call free will, which again contradicts his own theodicy. Also, my opponent's story about the couple is entirely subjective, and I'm sure most people who have a child with the disorder are probably drunks by now. Thanks god!

===
PRO
"Because being able to fly doesn't encourage soul-making on any level. BUT NEITHER DOES RAPE AND TORTURE, my opponent will probably say. Once again, rape and torture are consequences of free will, and therefore human's fault, not God's."
===
REBUTTAL
First of all, not everything allowed by your god is meant to encourage soul-making. If flying doesn't, why does walking? For that matter, how does the ability to make fart sounds with our mouth "encourage soul-making"? It doesn't, so we can see that what your god has allowed does not necessarily have to encourage soul-making. So I ask again; when your god was making the rules of the Universe, why did he make it impossible to fly (something my free will encourages me to want), but entirely possible to rape babies? This is a point my opponent has completely failed to answer to in this debate. There is absolutely no reason why an omni, omni god couldn't have made baby-rape against "the rules" of the Universe, and still give us complete free will. Theodicy countered!

===
PRO
"Everybody has to die. The slaying of them is, again, the consequence of free will. Secondly, only some adoptive parents are sterile, I know of several who are not and just wish to raise children who wouldn't otherwise have parents. But, for the sake of this debate, let's suppose that this couple is sterile. So, the fact that these people cannot have children of their own INCLINES them to adopt this child, and by adopting this orphaned child, they help her in the long run."
===
REBUTTAL
How far can we push this thing before it falls over in your eyes, my man? Ok, so the couple was made sterile by your god so that they'd adopt a child. Now we can ask why the child needed adoption in the first place, and we find that the child's parents were killed. Then we find out the reason the parents were killed was because they were drug dealers. We find that they were drug dealers because they'd both lost their jobs and had no other way to eat. We then find that they lost their jobs because they got caught stealing money. We then find that the reason they were stealing money was because their other child was on life support following a terrible earthquake, which killed 500 people.
What we have in this entirely realistic scenario is a god who causes 500 deaths and cripples a child, which leaves the child's parents with no other option but to steal money, which loses them a job, which forces them into drug dealing, which gets them killed, which orphans the child. Do you honestly believe all of this was caused by your god (remember, he knew all this was going to happen and could have prevented all of it), just so a sterile person (who, remember, god could have just made potent) could adopt a child? These are NOT the actions of an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent god. They are the actions of an evil moron who doesn't quite understand the concept of cause and effect.

===
PRO
"My Opponent: "What about the millions starving to death and about whom the fellow "humanoids" don't even know?"

Who's fault is it that we don't know about them? I think that it is yours and mine, not God's."
===
REBUTTAL
Come on man, think for yourself a little here. Think about a few thousand years ago when there was still the same amount of death and suffering in the world, but nobody knew about it because there was no internet or TV or anything. Hence, no "soul-making" for anyone, and a lot of suffering for many. Even now that we do know of the suffering in Africa, not many of us have the means to help even if we wanted to. It's got nothing to do with a soul, it's got more to do with the limited capabilities we've been given as humans. Once again, this is your god's fault and nobody else's. Nobody's soul is tested or strengthened by your god causing millions to suffer to death. Once again, if your god is omni and omni, he is most certainly evil. If he is indeed benevolent, then he's either weaker than humans or absolutely oblivious to what's going on down here.

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PRO
"Maybe he didn't create them. If their is an all-powerful loving being, who is to say that there isn't an all-powerful evil being (Satan)."
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REBUTTAL
Pure conjecture.

I applaud my opponent for coming up with his own apologies for his god; it shows devotion and an ability to think for one's self about the problem of evil, which is in my mind the most effective refutation of a benevolent god. But I've shown in this debate that there is still A LOT my opponent needs to think about with regards to this theodicy. I refuted every point my opponent made, while many of my arguments (particularly from Round 3) have been left unanswered and presumably conceded.

Thanks to my opponent for an excellent debate. Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A very good debate. The Argument from Evil cannot be overcome, but Pro put up as good a defense as any. Interestingly, Pro's weakest argument was the claim that torturing animals was not evil. If so, as Con pointed out, then God is not good. Con's strongest arguments were the cases of evil that produced no discernible character building. A tweak to human nature, making the protective instinct stronger, could prevent the evil without an inconsistency in the laws of nature. Con wins arguments.

S&G, conduct, refs are tied. Both debaters should use spaces between paragraphs more consistently to make their arguments more readable, but it's not a big deal.
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Vote Placed by abromwell 7 years ago
abromwell
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