The Instigator
bacchicfrenzy
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Emily77
Con (against)
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The Problem of Evil fails

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 426 times Debate No: 112902
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
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bacchicfrenzy

Pro

I would like to argue that the Problem of Evil fails. I am looking for someone to defend the view that the Problem of Evil shows there is no God.

Problem of Evil:
1) God is all knowing, so knows of evil
2) God is all powerful, so could stop evil
3) God is all good, so would stop evil
4) So, if God exists, there is no evil
5) Evil Exists
6) So, there is no God

I will define evil as gratuitous human suffering, but the debater may define evil how they want.

My initial reply to the problem of evil:
The 'free will + possible suffering' world is better than the 'no free will + no possible suffering' world, so a good God would create the former world.

This normally works for moral evil (suffering with a human origin), but fails to account for the suffering caused by nature (cancer, earthquakes, floods, starvation). I extend the free will theodicy to include suffering caused by nature. I do so by stipulating that the world is given to humans to freely fix or destroy. Thus, when humans cure a disease (i.e., polio), we use free will to rid the world of suffering. It is up to humans to prevent all forms of suffering. Humans should distribute food resources equally to stop starvation. Humans should geo-engineer, stopping climate change and droughts, humans should create self-driving cars to stop car accidents, humans should cure cancer. Once humans have created a utopia (100 years from now), there will be no more evil. It is within human power to achieve this, so don't blame God. This is actually a better world, to give humans this opportunity.
Emily77

Con

To begin, I would like to redefine evil, for I believe that my opponent's definition is severely lacking and incomplete. I therefore wish to define evil as the following:

"The infliction of gratuitous harm by an individual or group of individuals with either malevolent intent or disproportionate recklessness in regarding foreseeable, subsequent suffering.

The Problem of Evil
I would be remiss if I did not at least briefly outline how this more complete definition interacts with the aforementioned problem of evil. Here, we have one of two possibilities:

1. God is inflicting gratuitous harm with malevolent intent
2. God is inflicting gratuitous harm with disproportionate recklessness in regarding foreseeable, subsequent suffering.

If the first assumption was true, the problem of evil already nullifies your position, so let us instead operate on the assumption that the second assumption is true. Given premise (1) of the Problem of Evil, we can assert that God is all knowing, and therefore, is able to foresee the subsequent suffering that will occur. Our task then, is to determine whether the recklessness adopted is proportionate to the outcome God seeks to achieve: free will. If it is proportionate, then we can assert that the Problem of Evil does not disprove the existence of God. If it is not proportionate, we can assert that the Problem of Evil does disprove God.

Seeking Proportionality
My opponent's argument is that a world with free will and possible suffering is preferable to a world with no free will and no possible suffering. While this argument is in itself, subjective, I will allow it to stand and operate on this assumption. Therefore let's assume:

The privilege of free will perfectly balances the gratuitous harm that will befall others.

If both are equated equally, then we can immediately see a glaring problem here: gratuitous harm often results in the loss of free will for another human being. I challenge you to find an example of evil which does not result in this. In fact, the very definition of evil (no matter what way you spin it) requires an exercise in free will to rob another entity of their free will. To rape or physically harm a person is to take away the free will in bodily autonomy. To enslave a person is to take away their free will in the choices they make at every level of consciousness. To kill a person takes away all free will they may have ever possessed in the future.

When we look at evil acts as robbing a person of their free will, we can see that the proportional balance shifts drastically to one side. If a woman is forcefully kidnapped, chained to a bedpost, force-fed narcotics regularly, and is the victim of rape on an hourly basis; it is not reasonable to assert that this woman has, at any level (physical, emotional, physiological, practical, legal) free will. it has been taken from her. Yet, this is an example of evil that routinely takes place. If God seeks to maintain proportionality in the balance between free will and gratuitous harm, he must intervene in circumstances like these to afford the harmed party a reasonable exercise in free will.

Rebuttal
The above has been an argument as to why the problem of evil persists, but I will to rebut a few points that my opponent has made because I believe there are some glaring holes in the case that he himself has presented. For this portion, I will speak directly to him as it is his line of argumentation rather than a philosophical stance to be argued.

1. You cannot include natural disasters in your version of evil because the word itself is defined as one that describes a state of 'intent'. Without intent, you cannot have evil. The only way in which natural disasters can have intent behind them is if they are created by God, in which case, you've negated your own argument in it's entirety as he is throwing gratuitous harm at human beings for absolutely no reason (they can exercise free will more easily without a natural disaster).

2. You stated that, "Thus, when humans cure a disease (i.e., polio), we use free will to rid the world of suffering". Well, this isn't true. We don't. We use free will to make discoveries and try to achieve a cure. If, however, it is our free will to discover cures and we exert said free will to pursue these cures and discoveries, why does God not present us with the evidence we need sooner, before hundreds or thousands of other humans have lost all free will to death from these diseases? Why is a person with polio's rights to free will less important than a person researching it? By what arbitrary standard does god allot privilege levels?

3. You stated, " Once humans have created a utopia (100 years from now), there will be no more evil". Can we not agree that this claim is a little absurd? You haven't any real evidence to support this and if we look back 100 years ago, while we have advanced in certain standards of liberal benchmarks, we are solving problems and creating new ones. Based on the many, many thousands of years we humans have been on Earth, can we not agree that it is perhaps a little asinine to state that in 100 years, we will have an utopia that is free from any and all suffering and evil?

Conclusion
Based on the proportionality issues raised by inevitable loss of free will on part of the victims of evil, I believe the conclusion that God is complicit in evil by not levelling the proportionality of free will among both the purveyor of evil and the victim to be correct. If God is complicit in evil for this reason, then the aforementioned Problem of Evil still stands.
Debate Round No. 1
bacchicfrenzy

Pro

Thank you Emily77 for agreeing to debate these issues with me.

I believe (2) requires the following amendment:

Your 2. God is inflicting gratuitous harm ...
My 2b. God does not prevent humans from inflicting gratuitous harm on each other ...

Why the change? I have never seen God inflict gratuitous harm on anyone. I can't even imagine what this would look like. Does a voice come out of the clouds and say "I will now vaporize Joe", and then "poof", Joe is vaporized? All God has done is give people free will, and humans can harm or help each other with that free will.

You say that God is "complicit" when one human harms another. I don't see how this works. Let me explain. If Joe kills Stan, Joe should go to jail, not Frank, who did nothing. If the cops jail Frank, they have done wrong. So, the person who does wrong is blamed, not another person who did not cause the wrong. But God does not cause any wrong that a human does, so why say God is complicit?

You may respond: well, God made the human with free will, so God is to blame. This does not follow. Parents make children who have free will, but they do not go to jail if the child commits a crime.

You may respond: well, God didn't intervene to prevent the harm, so God is to blame. This does not follow either. The U.S. (and China, and Russia, etc...) fail to intervene to stop harms that others are committing in foreign countries all the time. They are powerful enough to stop it, know about it, and may be good, but they are still not to blame. The person who commits the crime is to blame, not those who fail to prevent them.

You may respond: but, it is immoral to sit by while someone harms another, and this is what God is doing. Maybe. I don't know about the ethics of intervention. But, even if it is normally immoral not to intervene, it is only immoral if there isn't a greater purpose behind the "sitting idly by". I claim that the greater purpose is that God gave the world to humans. So, if a murder happens, and God does not intervene, this is because God wants humans to solve this problem. With respect to murder, we have gone some distance in solving that problem. Most countries have laws against it already, and as mass surveillance increases, it will become harder to get away with or contemplate doing. So, while you may say God is complicit in allowing humans to harm each other, I would say humanity is complicit in allowing humans to harm each other. If anyone is to blame (other than the perpetrator), it is humanity. And, we should be blaming ourselves with as much angst as we blame God, then we will actually be a better species.

You say that harm takes away free will, so God should have surplus motivation for intervening. I agree that harm takes away some free will. I actually really enjoyed that argument you made. But, harm does not take away all free will. Say someone kills me, taking away my future free will chances. Well, I still had my past years of free will. And, not all harm takes away free will. I can think of examples if you would like. And, according to your logic, wouldn't humans using free will to help others thereby increase over all free will? If so, giving humans free will to help each other also increases the amount of free will those humans have.

As for (1), I need not include natural disasters. I only did this to make the atheistic argument stronger. If you do not want to include natural disasters, I wont.

As for (2), it is up to humans to cure disease or not to cure diseases. We cannot expect handouts from God, or else this world isn't really ours. So, humans solved a few diseases, and rid the world of some suffering. Humans did a good job there. God does not present a cure to humans because it is up to humans to find it, or not, and we collectively live with the consequences. My argument is that God has taken his hands off, and left it up to humans to ruin their planet and each other, or heal their planet and each other. On my argument, the human species could wipe itself out with a nuclear disaster, and God would not stop it. God would just say: "well, I guess they destroyed themselves, experiment over". We should not blame God for things that are up to us.

About (3), my optimism is informed by Ray Kurzweil and other such thinkers. There is evidence that humans are progressing and improving at an exponential rate, and there is reason to think this will continue to occur. But, such an argument is outside the scope of the main issue, so I will be happy to drop it.
Emily77

Con

Thank you for the insightful response!

Properly Understanding Causation
I wish to first address what I believe is a problem with your argument: you seem to have erroneously narrowed the scope of causality to a degree that humans do not generally accept legally, logically or philosophically. When it is stated that someone is inflicting gratuitous harm, this can be at both a direct and indirect level as seen from each of these standpoints. While God's intention was not to cause harm, he still indirectly caused it because he did not take appropriate steps within his capacity to prevent the harm.

Our legal system is full of crimes of this nature. Allow me to give one example. Suppose you are an employer who mass manufactures dough. As such, you have a giant mixer that, if a person were to fall into it, would immediately shred them to pieces. As an employer, it is your legal responsibility to provide a guard rail to that employees do not fall in this mixer. If you neglect to take the appropriate safeguards against an obvious and imminent danger, and an employee falls into the mixer, you as the employer who neglected to do this are held legally responsible.

This problem is further compounded in the example of God because he is omniscient, which means not only does he neglect to ensure reasonable safeguards against harm, he knows harm will result and still opts to eschew safeguards. Walter White may have had noble motives for producing methamphetamine, but we would still hold him logically, legally and philosophically responsible for causing gratuitous harm.

Having established that God can be held as an indirect cause, I also wish to dispute your claim that he is not also a direct cause of suffering. You claim that,

"I have never seen God inflict gratuitous harm on anyone. I can't even imagine what this would look like. Does a voice come out of the clouds and say "I will now vaporize Joe", and then "poof", Joe is vaporized?"

In the bible, there are many direct references to him doing exactly that. The Bible makes clear that this is indeed, his policy. It states,

"But God will strike you down, pull you from your home, and drag you away from the land of the living." -Psalm 52:5

"The Lord will send wasting disease, and burning pain, and flaming heat against you, keeping back the rain till your land is waste and dead; so will it be till your destruction is complete." -Deuteronomy 28:22

With this kind of language, we can't ever actually know when God is directly harming an individual, even perhaps under the guise of the free will he so "nobly" created.

Rebutting My opponent's Problematic Analogies
In the case of Frank, Frank has no stake in indirect causation and God does. This is an extremely poorly thought out analogy and I'm not sure why it was included.

In the case of the parents who have created children with free will, while this a better analogy than the previous, it does not hold simply because there is a large discrepancy in knowledge. God is omniscient; parents are not. If, as a parent, your child drinks bleach while you are at work, you are not held responsible. If, however, you are sitting in the same room watching the child, you see them pick up the bottle and begin to drink it, fully aware of its toxicity and the harm that will result, and you fail to intervene you are absolutely held responsible in our society.

It's important to understand the differences between knowing and not knowing in terms of causality. It is also important to differentiate between capacity and a lack of capacity. One cannot make the argument that humans necessarily have a capacity to stop a mass genocide (look at how many assassination attempts were made on Hitler and failed). God is omniscient and omnipotent and therefore has greater responsibility.

The Free Will Revocation Problem
This was the crux of my argument, and I'm afraid you did not address the issue. There is still a large imbalance as previously described in my argument above. I challenged you to give me an example of inflicted harm that does not take away from someone's free will in order to disprove that an improportionality occurs. You claim you can give me examples; if so, please do. Otherwise, my argument holds.

You say, "according to your logic, wouldn't humans using free will to help others thereby increase over all free will? If so, giving humans free will to help each other also increases the amount of free will those humans have." This leads me to believe you perhaps don't understand my argument as it in no way entails that. In fact, I made explicitly clear that in the absence of harm, humans have greater capacity to exercise free will as my argument clearly states that harm minimizes available free will.

If, as you've claimed, God was doing a noble thing by giving us unabashed free will without restrictions in place that might reduce harm, then it is logistically impossible for our capacity to exercise free will to grow. It is in essence, infinite. Any harm, no matter how slight, will therefore only diminish the options available for that free will to be exercised. Suppose, for example, I want to take up soccer, but as I am walking to the office in which I would sign up, I am attacked on a side street and beaten. Due to injuries in my leg, I am no longer able to play soccer (or any other rigorous activity for that matter).

I believe that this argument is key and, until you address it, the problem of disproportionality in free will allocation stands, rendering unabashed free will a detriment to it's own aims; something an omniscient and omnipotent being would have know and rectify.


Debate Round No. 2
bacchicfrenzy

Pro

Thanks for your thought provoking reply.


Perhaps we can clarify part of the issue. You affirm, and I deny, the following principle:


Culpable: God is culpable for the harm humans inflict upon one another.


You support Culpable by claiming that God is both direct cause and indirect cause of harms humans inflict upon one another. God is indirect cause of harms humans inflict upon one another because he is responsible for preventing these harms, and God does not prevent those harms.


I deny Culpable by claiming that God is neither a direct cause nor an indirect cause of harms humans inflict upon one another. God is not a direct cause of these harms because neither you nor I have ever seen God smote anyone. You object: The Bible says it happened. Well, I suspect you don’t believe the Bible, so that doesn’t prove anything. And, there is a logical problem: if you believe God had smote someone, you would believe God exists in the first place. So, you cannot believe God has directly caused harm. You may reply: but I should believe the Bible, so this should work for me. For theists, if those events happened, they are instances of justice, not evil by gratuitous suffering. Imagine Joe enslaves Julie in the sex trade, and the police come along and kill Joe in a standoff. The police did not do evil, they did justice, when they caused Joe to suffer.


God is not an indirect cause of these human inflicted harms either. On the production model of causation, x causes y if x transfers energy/momentum to y, or x pushes/pulls y. This requires that x is an event. Omissions are not causes. If I do not water the plant, and the plant dies, I do not cause the plant to die on this view because there is no energy transfer from me to the plant. So, on this view, if God omits to stop human from harming each other, God is still not a cause of humans harming each other.


Perhaps the counterfactual model can help your case, according to which x causes y if the absence of x implies the absence of y. The legal system seems to use the counterfactual model to discern causation in cases of negligence. On this view, the company is a cause of the death in the dough machine because, had there been a rail, the death would not have occurred. But, the counterfactual model includes just about everything as causes. For example, had factories not started to exist in the 19th century, the death would not have occurred. Had humanity not evolved, the death would not have occurred. Had the big bang not occurred, the death would not have occurred. And, most remotely, had God not created free will, the death would not have occurred. But surely these are not all causes. And surely, these are not all responsible.


I claim: in the case where a person falls into a dough machine, the person most responsible is the person who fell into the dough machine. They are responsible for their lives, and not letting themselves die. Other people that may also be held responsible include those people in a position of responsibility, who had a duty to provide safe guards but failed in that duty. Perhaps this includes the company CEO. But there are many people who are not culpable: the CEO of the company down the street is not culpable, the person who invented factories in the 19th century is not culpable, etc… These people are not proximate causes on any view of causation, and they are not in a position of responsibility. Similarly, God is not culpable because God is not a proximate cause and is not responsible.


One could say: well, God made free will, so God is culpable. Well, that is as far removed as the big bang occurring being culpable. One could say: well, God has a responsibility to step in and stop human suffering, since God is powerful enough to do so. No, plenty of countries are powerful enough to stop the person from falling into the dough machine, but they are outside of a position of responsibility, so are not culpable. One could say: well, God is love, so God would step in to stop it. No, my entire thesis is that God gave humans free will and a planet, then left everything up to humans, in an act of love to let them create their own destiny. So, we should not expect God to step in now. One could say: well, God knows it will happen, so that puts the duty to stop it on God. No, it is likely that the person who invented factories knew someone would die in a factory accident, but they are not to be blamed for making factories … so much good has come of it. The person who invented electricity must have known that someone could get electrocuted, but they are not blamed for making such a good thing anyway. Likewise, God knew humans would abuse free will, but God is not blamed for making such a good thing.


It is a mistake to force a duty upon God. Humans have no right to expect God to do anything. Our next breath is a gift, the fact that we exist at all is a gift, so any expectation that God must also create a utopia for us would be presumptuous, to say the least. The marvel is that God put things together, not that God allows humans to tear it apart.


Here are some examples of how harm does not imply a loss of free will: Joe steals a loaf of bread from a billionaire, harming the billionaire, but not taking any free will away from the billionaire. Sue cheats on Stan, causing harm to Stan, but Stan and Sue come to agree to having an open relationship, increasing free will to both. Mark burns down Fred’s house, which harms Fred. But, they escape so they still retain their free will, and insurance buys them a newer house. As I said, I appreciate the point you make about harm being connected to free will reduction, so I don’t want to reject your point. I just provide some examples to show it is not automatic.


On the ‘help increases free will’ argument: I would like to distinguish between the ‘faculty of free will’, and ‘acting freely in helpful/harmful ways’. God gave the faculty of free will, the potential to act as we want, and this is a good, and does not create more harm in any way, since no human harms are included in just having the capacity of acting freely. On the other hand, humans use free will to act in a harmful way or helpful way. You emphasize that when humans act in a harmful way, they limit the free will others have. By parity of reasoning, if humans act in helpful ways, they increase the free will others have. To borrow your example: you want to take up soccer, but have no money for shoes. Someone uses their free will to buy you shoes, which increases your free will, now allowing you to play soccer. Someone gives to charity, preserving the life of a hungry person, increasing their free will. The connection with help to increased free will is as strong as the connection with harm to decreased free will. This also allows free will to ‘grow’: by helping others, they have more options and more free will. Of course, the faculty of having free will does not grow. But, the amount of choices we have does grow.


My central point is: humanity itself has the duty to care for everything harmful that happens in the species. The burden you are trying to place upon God, I place upon humanity. Imagine the converse: humans invent democracy, cure diseases, push human rights to the limits of the world, and do many other good things. The theist comes along and says: wow, God is so good for doing all that. No, humans did it, don’t credit God for something he didn’t do. Similarly, imagine humans kill, steal and war, and do many other bad things. The atheist comes along and says: wow, God is so bad for allowing all that. No, humans did it, don’t blame God for something he didn’t do. It should be easy for the atheist to take God out of the equation when it comes to dispersing blame, as they do not believe God exists anyway. For atheists, it should be clear that the world belongs to humans to fix or destroy, as I claim.






Emily77

Con

Thank you for the interesting points. It should make for interesting discussion.

Culpability

Direct:
As far as direct causation goes, because you chose to argue for God instead of Ra, Vishnu or even simply a generic, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent figure, you are bound by the documents that define the characteristics of God. Therefore, I needn't believe in The Bible to appreciate the argument presented on his behalf:

1. God will do x (smite people) in the instance y (irreverent acts) occurs.
2. The instance y has occurred.
3. Therefore, God has done x.

The Bible clearly states that God has already done x for the instances of y committed. It also makes clear that God will do x if other instances of y should be committed. We can therefore assume direct harm has already occurred and will continue to occur to people for exercising the gift he gave to them. Moreover, you cannot make the argument that you've never seen him do it because, again, you are bound by the documentation in which God is elucidated simply by the nature of your original argument.

Indirect:
I don't entirely embrace your definition of causation. I will, however, allow for the point that you make in which x requires an event in order for causation to be asserted. The creation of anything, however, is an event. Your very argument made explicit that God created free will and therefore, based on the laws of logic and physics, God is a cause of the harm that ensues from said creation.

That answer may not satisfy you because society does not accept these definitions for determining responsibility. x can be the cause of y and yet not be responsible. This is true in your example of the person who invented factories and subsequent deaths. In society, we generally use legal principles to determine responsibility. These are based on knowledge and intent in addition to causation (both cognitive assessments comprise the legal term mens rea).Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said, "even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and stumbled over." Nearly all legal systems that have ever existed in civilized society have been based upon this premise. There are crimes punishable purely based on causation; these are generally always punished less severely than crimes with both causation and reasonable knowledge of foreseeable consequences. In turn, these are punished less strictly than crimes possessing causation, knowledge and intent.

My argument is that, as stated above, God was the cause of suffering and pain (based on the definition of causation you gave; I believe on this point we can agree). The question upon which we disagree is whether God is responsible, to which I would argue that he is. Here's why:

Being omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, God knows beyond all comprehension that his creation will cause harm and suffering. he knows of each and every instance of future suffering. Therefore, he is at present, guilty only of a second degree crime with causation and knowledge since it seems his intentions were "noble" (in the very same way we would punish an honor killing as a second degree murder rather than a first degree murder). We can already infer he is responsible, but the situation for God looks even more grim when, considering that if his intent was noble, and yet he knew his actions would cause more harm than good, what then does this tell us? This, however, is for another debate.

Therefore, we can conclude that yes, God is responsible. We can cite the inventor of Oxycodon as a cause for its usage. Responsibility, however, is not given to him because at the time of invention, could not be required to reasonably assume that it would be anything more than a revolutionary painkiller used to treat patients at the discretion of doctors. We do, however, attach culpability to those who create this drug for sale to street dealers because they know beyond reasonable doubt that it will cause harm to those procuring it (we know this because that's the business model!).

Disproportion of Free Will
I appreciate your attempt to refute my argument and I appreciate that you bring up an interesting point down the line which I am quite excited to address. That being said, however, I don't think you full grasp the argument in its entirety so I will try to outline it more concisely and then perhaps, it will become more clear why your examples given do not fit.

In order for it to be truly valuable, you claim God gave us unrestricted free will. If an entity has no restrictions, it is considered infinite. This implies that our free will is infinite in its inception. Now, I'm certain even you can agree that you cannot increase something that is infinite; all you can do is restrict it so as to make it finite. Therefore, if God wanted us to truly have unrestricted free will, he (omnipotent and omniscient as he is) would have implemented it in a way conducive to this. Unfortunately, however, he did not. The free will of others takes away from our own free will in varying proportions.

Imagine, for a moment, a scale. on one side of the scale is absolute nothingness; no restriction of any kind. This side is our own willpower as given to us by God. On the other side of the scale, let us assume that we have grains of sand. Each grain of sand is minuscule and won't do much to tip the scale. These grains are the effects that the willpower of others has on us.

Let us take your example of the thief who steals from the billionaire. In this instance, let's assume it is so minute as to cause only a grain of sand to be placed on the scale. His action has still revoked a minuscule amount of free will from the billionaire. In this scenario, the billionaire wanted to relax and do nothing but have a sandwich this afternoon (which is why he bought the bread). Now, that option is no longer available to him. He will have to instead, choose one of the other trillion or more options available to him. It doesn't seem like a problem on the surface, except these little grains of sand (or minor impositions on free will) begin to add up until the scale is overburdened and free will is highly restricted.

This brings me to the interesting point you made about assistance granting more free will. This certainly can be true! A person who wishes to play soccer but cannot afford to do so is burdened with the many clumps of sand the soccer organization has placed upon him (their will to have the players fund the soccer league) has hindered his free will to play soccer. A kind person may come along and lift several clumps of sand by paying for his admission. In doing so, however, they have lifted some sand (perhaps I can give you this point, there is indeed less sand now than before). This is because he now no longer has the option of discovering a way to earn the money required to play. No matter how many grains of sand you unburden, you will always inadvertently add more because that's simply the nature of energy. Some will always be lost forever in any chemical reaction, no matter how minuscule. This is just as true with free will.

Conclusion
Based on this argument, it follows that there will always be an imbalance in favour of a continually restricted free will. You argue that God's motives to create free will were proportionally positive despite the responsibility that he must accept for pain and suffering. I would argue that he create a paradigm that leads to a Darwinian battle for free will, leading to gross improportionality, unfairness and dare I say, evil 9consult my definition above and incorporate the sand-scale analogy to see how this so). Therefore, the problem of evil still stands.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Emily77 3 months ago
Emily77
Cheers to a great debate, baccicfrenzy. Thanks for the interesting topic and the interesting arguments put forth.
Posted by judaism 3 months ago
judaism
There is a G-d, and yes, He does create evil as a means to test us.
Posted by bacchicfrenzy 3 months ago
bacchicfrenzy
Hi Emily77,

Thanks for a good debate. I wish I had made more rounds.
Posted by IzzysDad 4 months ago
IzzysDad
The question is what it means for the problem of evil to "fail". In the sense that it proves that "an all knowing, all powerful, all good god cannot exist"... with "ALL" held as an absolute, I would argue that this is true. But it fails to disprove "God does not exist" in a broader sense because these "alls" are oversimplified absurdities. God cannot create a square circle or a rock god cannot lift. What does "all knowing" really mean in a universe where there are quantum level probabilistic factors? How could our simplistic concept of "absolute good" and "absolute evil" possibly have the same meaning to an omnipotent being which exists outside space and time? Are Mosquitos or sharks evil? Are "rolling through a stop sign" or "not donating to charity" or "enjoying a violent movie" evil, and why would a universe-scale-immortal-being care? So in the sense that the initial assumptions are just words our squishy mammalian brains are using to describe something which would be beyond human comprehensions and don't really mean anything, yes the Problem of Evil "fails".
Posted by canis 4 months ago
canis
"Evil and good" does not exist.."Beautifull" paintings do not exist. Paintings do.."Sweet or cute" animals do not exist.. Animals do... Human behavior exists..
Posted by Just-Call-Me-PK 4 months ago
Just-Call-Me-PK
Evil is the absense of good, which God is.
Posted by backwardseden 4 months ago
backwardseden
@DoulosChristos - "but God is also omniscient and allows evil for reasons sufficient for Himself." Well then according to you and thus by your own definition, that makes YOUR god evil. And YOUR god has freely admitted to being evil. Therefore YOUR god IS EVIL. Its not hard to figure out, that is IF and only IF you take YOUR god at his word in which you clearly don't as you invent excuses to only satisfy YOUR wants, needs and desires as all so-called christians do in which is an impossibility to be a christian. These verses are irrefutable no matter how badly you wish to twist them.
45:7, 2 SAM 12: 11-14 sick and disgusting, EX 32:14, 1 KS 1 22: 22-23, 2 CR 18:22, JM 19:3, JM 19:15, JM 23:12, AM 3:6, DT 30:15, 2 KS 22:16, JU 9:23 thus proving that YOUR god IS evil.
Posted by DoulosChristos 4 months ago
DoulosChristos
The problem with the syllogism is that number three is not a true premise. God is good so therefore would stop evil. That makes sense in most instances to our human mind, but God is also omniscient and allows evil for reasons sufficient for Himself, not necessarily for us. One cannot impose human desires or tendencies on an Omniscient Omnipotent Being. So I would argue that the problem of evil does not do anything to demonstrate the non existence of God based upon the fact that premise three is unsubstantiate.
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