The Instigator
Envisage
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

The Problem of Evil falsifies the Christian God's Omnibenevolence

Do you like this debate?NoYes+15
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 16 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,277 times Debate No: 55440
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (240)
Votes (16)

 

Envisage

Pro

I am honoured to have Wylted accept this debate! Best of luck to him!.

The burden of proof is on me to demonstrate the resolution to be true. I will argue in the following round and Con may provide rebuttals/arguments in the same round.

10,000 characters.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguments, Con may rebut me
Round 3: Rebuttals/Arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals/Conclusions - No new arguments/brand new rebuttals

That is all, good luck!!
Wylted

Con

I accept. Let's get it on.
Debate Round No. 1
Envisage

Pro

a. Correction of resolution
Please note that Wylted and I have agreed upon a correction of the resolution from:

"The Problem of Evil falsifies the Christian God's Omnibenevolence"
to
"The Problem of Evil falsifies the Christian God"

This is so not to distract from the intention of this debate, which is the problem of evil's soundness as an argument against Christianity.

I. Preface
Once again, I would like to thank Wylted for accepting this debate, I don't think I could have asked for a better adversary! I would like to clarify the definition of the Christian God for this debate.

The Christian God is defined as a being that is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent and of course, Omnibenevolent, or the 'Greatest Possible Being'. Con may request a change in this definition in the comments if he wishes, although these attributes are going to be the principle ones I will be arguing with for now.

I will be arguing the problem of evil from three perspectives, the general problem of evil in this world as is normally argued, a modal form of the argument similar to how the ontological argument is formulated and from the evil god hypothesis.

II. Problem of Evil
The argument is formalised as follows:

P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2. Gratuitous suffering exists
Conclusion. The Christian God does not exist.

Gratuitous suffering - Superfluous, or unnecessary suffering

This argument is a trivial modus tollens by the law of the contrapositive. Therefore the argument is logically valid, and Pro needs to dispute the premises to avoid the conclusion. [1]

In defence of premise 1, an omnibenevolent being is one of maximal goodness. An omnipotent AND omnibenevolent being would be both willing and capable of giving maximal goodness within the world. From this, we would trivially expect there to be zero instances of suffering not coupled with a redeeming good in the world. If there was a world that had a degree of gratuitous suffering with redeeming goals accomplished, we could always envisage a world with a lesser degree of gratuitous suffering with the same result (given that God is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, he is both willing and able).

In defence of premise 2, this seems to be obviously true, with millions of children in the world die in great pain as infants. Some children are born with cancer,[2] others are born with chronic diseases such as HIV.[3] Clearly these individuals are suffering a disproportionate amount compared with their peers, and one could easily envisage a world where all things are equal with the exception of that additional degree of suffering. This 'unnecessary additional degree of suffering' is what would be clearly classified as gratuitous suffering.

Moreover, a large fraction of these children are both unbaptised and unexposed to the Christian doctorine. Therefore are 'unentitled' to receive redemption in heaven according to the Christian doctorine. We don't even need to go this far, however. As even more compelling arguments can be made for animal suffering.

We only need to look as far as our nearest chicken farm to see millions of chickens living in atrocious conditions, with absolutely no redeeming qualities for them in this life. The same arguments I have made for humans also apply for animals in the wild. Sentient animals who have just been born are regularly born infected, and physically handicapped. Of course given the more brutal conditions of the wild a very substantial degree of these animals do not survive for long at all.

The fact we can easily envisage worlds where there is less suffering, that is not inherently contradictory or violate any logical principles, seems to easily fulfil premise 2 of the argument.

III. Possible Objections
The most commonly objection is principle that of free will, which could dispute the premises in the following way.

"Free will is a redeeming good that balances out the perceived gratuitous suffering that exists, that is gratuitous suffering is necessary for us to have free will"

However this objection is weak for a number of reasons

1. Only addresses moral gratuitous suffering (moral evil)
Free will is an irrelevant argument when addressing naturalistic suffering. Earthquakes, tsunamis, disease, and a whole host of sources of suffering that have nothing to do with one's influence due to free will. One could easily envisage a world, with all things equal, including free will, where naturalistic suffering does not exist, or at the very least exists to a lesser degree. The fact that things could be better still satisfies premise 2 for the presence of gratuitous suffering.

2. It could have been done better
Take oxytocin for example, which is a drug that is demonstrably known to increase a person's trust in other people. It wouldn't be a far stretch to agree that a person taking oxytocin will still have free will, or free choice. Since that person is in no way limited by how they can choose, but now an additional bias is placed on which choices are more favorable to take. We have multiple mechanisms that favor certain choices over others, which are manifest from the emotions we exhibit. A depressed individual will make a different selection in choices to a healthy person (, if all else was perfectly equal) but we would still regard both individuals to have free will.

THAT being the case, we can easily envisage a world in which morally good choices are more pleasurable, or more greatly favoured in our will than they are today. That being the case we can conclude that this world contains a greater amount of moral evil (and therefore gratuitous suffering) that is necessary to accomplish free will, and would the. satisfy premise 2 of there being gratuitous suffering.

IV. Modal argument from evil
This argument I have borrowed/pilfered/bribed/stolen from zmikecuber.[4] This argument uses the extra attribute of omnipresence, and necessary existence (as defined as the greatest possible being) against God's existence.

P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2. Gratuitous suffering is possible
P3. If gratuitous suffering is possible then there is a metaphysically possible world where it exists
C1. The Christian God does not exist in one metaphysically possible world
P4. The Christian God is defined as a being that necessarily exists in all metaphysically possible worlds
C2. The Christian God exists in no metaphysically possible world (including this one)

The new premise I have injected is premise 2, which is even more innocent than the P2 of the original problem of evil. Since we only need to accept gratuitous sufferings' possibility for the argument for work. We can readily conceive of a world where gratuitous suffering exists. Neither is this world inherently contradictory or logically unsound. Therefore we have good reason for accepting this to be metaphysically possible.

V. Evil God Hypothesis

The argument can be summarised as such:
1. A malevolent god can explain moral goods & evils just as well as an omnibenevolent god can
2. God created the universe, and all the moral good & evil within it
C. Omnibenevolence is an unnecessary attribute of God

This last jab using the problem of evil is simply a coinflip to demonstrate that an omnibenevolent god doesn't by it's own virtue account for the good & evil in the world. [5]

Take an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfectly evil (malevolent) god. Can such a being account for the evidence of moral goods and evils just as well as an omnibenevolent god can?

All instances of seemingly gratuitous suffering are readily accounted for by an evil god. We can even attribute man's warring and destructive tendencies towards their fellow species and the planet as clear signs of innate evil that god has given us. The brutal torment of our animal kind in the wild, stricken by disease, starvation and immense suffering are readily explained by god's perfectly evil will.

The obvious objection to this is what about moral good in the world? What about the joy of birthing a child, or the sense of euphoria in succeeding? What about all the advances humankind has made, aren't these violations of what we would expect from a perfectly evil god?

You will quickly see everything one can say in defence of a perfectly good god may be flipped on it's head and used in defence of a perfectly evil god. So in this case, free will! In order to achieve the greatest possible evil in the world, free will must be granted, and therefore some concessions on moral goods must be given to experience new heights of evil. Murder, slavery, and torture are not possible without granting free will, so this is the price god has to pay for this payback of increased suffering.

Even the argument of redemption in heaven/hell can be flipped around to account for a perfectly evil god. All moral goods experienced in this life will be 'redeemed' upon judgement with eternal torment in hell with the evil god.

To paraphrase Peter Milican, the problem of evil should be so named the evidential problem of evil, since there is so much evil, and suffering, in the world, in such great quantities that it should be so-named the evidential problem of evil. I would argue as far that an evil god hypothesis is actually a much better explanation of the world than an omnibenevolent god is, for reasons already described. Thereby falsifying an omnibenevolent god.

VII. Conclusion:
The case is laid out, I wish Con best of luck in his rebuttals.

Back to Pro!

VIII. References:

1 http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...
2. http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org...
3. http://www.avert.org...
4. http://www.debate.org...
5. http://journals.cambridge.org...
Wylted

Con

I don't perceive that I'll be using any citations. These are philosophical arguments so it's not necessary. In the name of full disclosure. I've derived most of my arguments from William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantiga.
Introduction
The Problem of Evil argument (here after referred to as POE) was originally designed to be a defeator argument. That means that you can't hold a belief in a god that is omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omnipresent (here after referred to as the omni god) and belief in gratuitous evil at the same time.

I'm going to show how gratuitous evil can't be proven. I'll go through my argument and it should actually touch on every point my opponent brought up.

The Problem of Evil

The argument according to my opponent:

P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist

P2. Gratuitous suffering exists

Conclusion. The Christian God does not exist.


Premise number 2 is the biggest problem in this argument. It's completely unsupported and impossible to prove. No matter how hard my opponent fights he won't be able to prove premise number 2.

All things in moderation

My opponent actually concedes the point that some evil would exist. His beef is just at what he interprets to be gratuitous evil. So I don't have to explain what purpose evil exists for. We already assume the purpose is justified. I don't need to cover the subject of why evil exists at all.

So in summary. Me and my opponent agree that evil existing isn't necessarily a disqualifier of the omnibenevolence of the Judea-Christian God. It's this notion of gratuitous evil exists.

Desire for Worship

The Christian Omni-God desires worship and glory.

New Living Translation

Romans 11:36

"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen."


Part of the reason that evil was created, was to be able to appreciate God's glory. How could we ever know God and appreciate him fully unless we fall from his grace first. It's like the saying goes.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

If we're perfect creations, than we will never know God's true capacity for love. Of course he would love a perfect being, but he loves us despite our imperfections. It's a good thing that God didn't create a perfect world with perfect inhabitants. If he had we'd be spared from ever truly understanding how deep his love flows.

This portion was just for context since my opponent has basically agreed that evil is necessary. I think it's good to mention it, so as to understand my argument against gratuitous evil existing.

Ashton Kutcher

This is what I refer to as my Butterfly Affect argument. In The Butterfly Affect, Ashton Kutcher kept going back and trying to fix bad things. Every time he changed something in the past it would have disasterous affects on the future. Some of these affects were stuff that couldn't possibly have been predicted.

The Butterfy affect is a term derived from whats known as the chaos theory.

What the butterfly affect means is that large occurrences can come from some seemingly meaningless small events. A butterfly flapping his wings in Africa can cause an unpredictable chain of events that lead to a hurricane off the coast of Florida.

God is omniscient

He knows all and sees all. Something we view on our tiny time scale as gratuitous evil, may in fact not be gratuitous when looking through God's infinite time scale.

God's Will

There is this false belief, that God's will for people on Earth is to give them pleasure. I don't care how loving God is. If his goal isn't your eternal bliss you're not getting it.

His goal is glory. He wants to be glorified. Although he loves his creatures. What's more important than sparing them from suffering is to spare them from not being able to truly understand his glory and love.

You must understand when we discuss God's glory. We are discussing a word translated from Hebrew and Greek. The word has a very multifaceted meaning. God wanting to be glorified, means he wants to be known by his people. He wants them to experience his love to the fullest extent possible.

I know suffering sucks, but it's necessary and even beneficial when considering God's long time horizon among other things.

Rebuttals

My argument actually already covered most of what my opponent has already discussed and showed how he can't prove his examples are actually gratuitous evil or suffering.

Here is some things my argument may have missed.

"Moreover, a large fraction of these children are both unbaptised and unexposed to the Christian doctorine. Therefore are 'unentitled' to receive redemption in heaven according to the Christian doctorine. We don't even need to go this far, however. As even more compelling arguments can be made for animal suffering."

Not true. Everybody gets exposed to the teachings of Jesus. After a Christian dies he goes to heaven. When a non Christian dies he arrives in what's known as Sheol. While in Sheol he'll be given access to Christian doctrine. When judgement day comes. He will be judged and either go to heaven or go to hell.

http://www2.biglobe.ne.jp...

Anybody not familiar with this concept. Please refer to my source for more information.

"P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist

P2. Gratuitous suffering is possible

P3. If gratuitous suffering is possible then there is a metaphysically possible world where it exists

C1. The Christian God does not exist in one metaphysically possible world

P4. The Christian God is defined as a being that necessarily exists in all metaphysically possible worlds

C2. The Christian God exists in no metaphysically possible world (including this one)

"Gratuitous suffering is a contingent possibility not a necessary possibility. In Modal logic a contingent possibility wouldn't necessarily exist in some possible worlds.

I Couldn't say Barack Obama doesn't exist as president of the United States in some possible worlds.

Another thing that needs to be understood about modal logic is the term "some possible worlds". It's really just a fancy way of assigning probability. If I tell you I rolled one dice. Than I asked you what number I rolled. You would use modal logic to create 6 possible worlds. After in half of all possible worlds I rolled an even number in half I rolled an odd.

So in summary my opponent is trying to say. There is a chance that gratuitous evil exists, so the Omni Christian God isn't real.

This argument is derived from ZMikecuber who has a good understanding of formal logic and try's to apply that form of logic to modal logic. However the argument isn't logical. Despite the heroic attempt of trying to completely understand modal logic by bootstrapping off of a basic knowledge of the MOA and a decent knowledge of unrelated forms of formal logic.

My opponent spends the rest of his argument explaining how an evil god might be a just as good of an explanation, so why assume a benevolent God?

My response to this, is that it's outside of the realm of this debate. The resolution is pertaining to the POE disproving the Omni Christian God. The debate isn't about an argument for an evil God disproving the Omni Christian God. I'd appreciate if my opponent just stuck to the POE argument, so as to keep the debate on topic.
Debate Round No. 2
Envisage

Pro

Thanks Con for his rebuttal. *Cracks knuckles*

I. Preface

I see no reason to drop the evil god hypothesis, it's far from irrelevant from the resolution given it utilizes the evidential problem of evil to disprove omnibenevolence as a necessary attribute of God (and therefore God himself).

II. Modal Argument from Evil

I will begin by defending this sub-argument, since it sets the tone for the other two angles of attack I have presented. Con makes a number of ad homenums towards the argument, and against the person I have borrowed it from, despite it being a known argument in philosophical circles. It really doesnt matter how much one dislikes the argument, or finds the logic absurd. So long as the premises are true, and the argument is valid, then the conclusion follows inescapably. It doesnt matter how much one dislikes it.

Allow me to reformulate this argument and lay down all the presuppositions contained within it.



P1. Necessarily, God is a being that necessarily exists (must exist in all metaphysically possible worlds)

P2. If God necessarily exists THEN, necessarily no gratuitous suffering exists (exists in not one metaphysically possible world)

P3. Gratuitous suffering is possible (it exists in some metaphysically possible world)

C1. From 2 & 3, God does not necessarily exist

C2. From C1 & 1, God necessarily does not exist ~(in any metaphysically possible world, including this one)



This put into modal form gives the following:


Note the modal form of premise 3, the statement not necessarily no gratuitous suffering is logically equivalent to Gratuitous suffering is possible via. De Morgans Laws. Also necessarily no gratuitous suffering exists is interchangeable with gratuitous suffering is not possible.

Also please note that in modal logic, metaphysical possibility is different from physical possibility. Metaphysical possibility addresses how the world could have been, and physical possibility addresses how the world is now. My arguments primarily address the former.

The argument seems to be logically water-tight (valid), so Con needs to dispute the premises to avoid the conclusion. Which he has not yet even attempting to do.

I have absolutely no idea what Con is attempting to state with the following:

Gratuitous suffering is a contingent possibility not a necessary possibility. In Modal logic a contingent possibility wouldn't necessarily exist in some possible worlds.

Which in modal form is just:

Or in plain English, a contingent possibility is not a necessary possibility, since metaphysical possibility is logically equivalent with existence in some metaphysically possible world. In order words, Cons objection is just word salad which doesnt actually state anything meaningful.

I have already given reasons why we should accept gratuitous suffering as a metaphysical possibility, its very conceivable, and is not inherently logically contradictory. Moreover we can easily envisage a world akin to our own, and take the cases of apparently gratuitous suffering as possibly genuine cases of gratuitous suffering. This is plenty enough to satisfy premise 3 of the reformulated argument.

Objection probability the problem is God is a necessary being that must exist in any metaphysically possible world, which is an attribute that is pretty much undisputed. Therefore anything that would contradict it (denying the consequent in this case) would thus falsify God in any metaphysically possible world. It doesnt matter whatsoever if gratuitous suffering is 99% likely, 1% likely or 0.0001% likely, the fact that it is possible renders God unnecessary, and from premise 1, non-existent (falsified).

Therefore, the modal argument from evil is plenty affirmed.

III. Original Problem of Evil:

First of all, lets get this non-concession out of the way:

My opponent actually concedes the point that some evil would exist.

I never conceded for a second that necessarily some evil would exist given an omnibenevolent, omnipotent god (quote me if I did). Not at all. But for the sake of the branch of argument I gave, it is unnecessary to account for all evil to prove my conclusion. That would be taking on an unnecessarily high burden.

This can be summarized in the following horned dilemma:



P1. Either the suffering argued is gratuitous suffering or is with a possible justifiable purpose

P2. If suffering is gratuitous suffering, THEN God is falsified (as per original PoE)

P3. If there is a possible justifiable purpose, THEN God cannot be omnipotent, falsifying God

C. In either case, God is falsified



Pro disputes that any example of suffering I have given would fall into the category of gratuitous suffering, and thus fulfilling premise 2 of this horned argument, and has argued for some form of unknown purpose defence to give God a way out for these examples of suffering.

However this, and other purpose defences like it suffer from exactly the same problem that was put forward by Epiricus 2300 years ago, the problem is that God is allegedly omnipotent.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?

This means, any purpose that God has intended for a certain example of suffering and certainly every single example Con gave, could have been accomplished by not going via. that intermediate stage (as he is omnipotent). There is nothing inherently logically contradictory with this conception, and given that God has free will and deliberately chooses to go through unnecessary intermediate stages that will inevitably cause suffering (God is omniscient) he would need to be either malevolent, or impotent (falsifying God).

In my original argument I pointed out that otherwise identical individuals would suffer in unequal amounts, and for no apparent purpose or benefit whatsoever. Especially given that there are inevitably individuals (such as non-humans) that do not receive heavenly redemption (even this has problems, as it would be a greater good to achieve both no suffering in life and the same level of redemption in heaven).

However, the problems do not stop there at all for the unknown purpose defence, for this forfeits any claim to be able to know Gods goodness. If we cannot claim to know that Gods actions are done for a good purpose, of that they are intrinsically good then how can we claim to know that he genuinely is such? This feeds straight into the evil God hypothesis. Any knowledge of an act of Gods goodness requires at least some understanding of Gods motive or intent, which this line of argument forfeits.

Moreover this exposes any Act of God to confirmation bias, if its a good act then its by God, if its an act that causes most convincingly gratuitous suffering its God acts in mysterious ways. Given we have so many examples of gratuitous suffering, arguably far more than clear examples of good, it actually makes the evil god hypothesis more plausible than the good god hypothesis.

Furthermore, a direct problem is, are we not acting against god by preventing such acts of seemingly gratuitous suffering from occurring. Such as by vaccination, medication, purchasing insurance, building Earthquake-proof homes and having tornado sirens in high risk towns. This is a rather obvious inconsistency which seems to affirmed in the bible. Jesus cured a women of her paralysis and told her to walk, would it be wrong for us today to cure people of their paralysis? There are of course, many, many other examples mentioned biblically.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

I feel I have already addressed this argument in its entirety in my opening argumnent where I stated that its perfectly conceivable and possible that realisation of good, and tendancies to do good are accomplishable by other means than introducing evil/suffering. Such as by making morally good acts inherently pleasurable. A similar argument can be made to know Gods love, therefore this is simply not a sustainable objection. God is allegedly omnipotent, so its well within his power.

Furthermore, even if God logically could not have make all humans know his love (which I argue is absurd anyway), then it runs into the question of whether or not this trade-off still fits under the umbrella of omnibenevolence, it seems obviously false that any trade-off fits the definition of omnibenevolence, and is therefore a self-refuting argument.

IV. Evil God Hypothesis:

I am somewhat perplexed Con did not even attempt to touch this argument. The evil god hypothesis is very much a branch of the problem of evil, and deals with very much the same elements. I will briefly add some argumentation to cement the issue.



1. If the Christian God exists, THEN God is necessarily good

2. If God is necessarily Good, THEN any world created (including this one) by an AntiGod (malevolent God) must different to a world created by God

3. Therefore, if God is necessarily good, THEN this world cannot have been created by AntiGod

4. It is possible this world was created by AntiGod

C1. God is not necessarily good

C2. (From C1 & 1) God does not exist



This of course is more of an inductive argument, as it depends entirely on the best explanation of evil/gratuitous evil in this world, and how easily is satisfies each hypothesis of an all good (omnibenevolent) God and an AntiGod (malevolent).

I would strongly argue that all the examples of evil I have given in the first and second round are easily explained by an AntiGod, and all the common theodicies to make the world consistent with omnibenevolence can be easily flipped on their head to yield a very plausible argument for malevolence.

V. Conclusion:

The resolution is affirmed, I expect strong arguments from Con to stand.

Wylted

Con

Introduction

I'll address my opponent's arguments in order of importance. Let's examine the POE, which is what we're here to debate. A lot of my opponent's other arguments, honestly seem like fluff. I'll address the fluff after first addressing the important stuff.

POE

Let's examine the topic we're actually supposed to be debating momentarily.

From Round 2

P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2. Gratuitous suffering exists
Conclusion. The Christian God does not exist.


We're only disputing premise number 2. My opponent has to prove premise #2. If he fails to prove premise 2 then he loses this debate. The voters need to heavily weigh the arguments concerning premise #2, and give little to no weight for the rest of the arguments.

Let's examine if he did.

Unknown Purpose Defense

I don't like calling it an unknown purpose defense, because I've actually shown a purpose. However the title doesn't take anything away from it.

"This means, any purpose that God has intended for a certain example of suffering and certainly every single example Con gave, could have been accomplished by not going via. that intermediate stage (as he is omnipotent). There is nothing inherently logically contradictory with this conception, and given that God has free will and deliberately chooses to go through unnecessary intermediate stages that will inevitably cause suffering (God is omniscient) he would need to be either malevolent, or impotent (falsifying God)."

Here is a reminder of what I said in the previous round.

New Living Translation

Romans 11:36

"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen."

Part of the reason that evil was created, was to be able to appreciate God's glory. How could we ever know God and appreciate him fully unless we fall from his grace first.


Now you might ask; Why wouldn't God just have you appreciate his glory and know him and his love without all the suffering? The answer to this is something I didn't bring up, because my opponent had already brought up the free will defense in round 2.

Here it is:

"Free will is a redeeming good that balances out the perceived gratuitous suffering that exists, that is gratuitous suffering is necessary for us to have free will"

My opponent goes on to explain that free will only accounts for moral evils and not naturalistic evil. This is why I didn't bring this up sooner. We already had the argument narrowed down to naturalistic evil. If I would've known my opponent's rebuttals were going to be so good, I would've touched on this up sooner.

The free will defense actually goes hand in hand, with the defense I used this previous round.

A benevolent God, won't force you to love him. He won't force you to know him, glorify him, or even believe in him. God wants all these things, but he knows it's wrong to force them on you.

I'm going to go ahead and quote Plantiga directly on this.

"A world containing creatures who are significantly free (and freely perform more good than evil actions) is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures at all. Now God can create free creatures, but He can't cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if He does so, then they aren't significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely. To create creatures capable of moral good, therefore, He must create creatures capable of moral evil; and He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so. As it turned out, sadly enough, some of the free creatures God created went wrong in the exercise of their freedom; this is the source of moral evil. The fact that free creatures sometimes go wrong, however, counts neither against God's omnipotence nor against His goodness; for He could have forestalled the occurrence of moral evil only by removing the possibility of moral good."

Plantinga, Alvin (1967). God and Other Minds. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. LCCN 67020519.

This explains the natural evils as well. God removed any awareness of his presence from this world. He may have left behind some holy books, so those who choose to know him can, but he's not going to make himself obvious and destroy our free will to believe.

I agree with my opponent. If you prove gratuitous evil. You prove god isn't Omni benevolent. My opponent has failed to give us enough reason to believe that gratuitous evil exists.

Now I'll move on to all of my opponent's bonus arguments. Starting with the ones most in need of addressing.

Evil God

As I stated previously. I don't think this argument has much if any relevance to this debate. My opponent's argument is that an evil God is just as good of an explanation for this so called evil as a benevolent God. My response to this is: So what? It doesn't do anything to disprove a benevolent God. It just shows a melevolent one is just as likely.

I think the best thing that could be taken from this argument is that it shows an evil God would be indistinguishable from a benevolent God. Showing that a melevolent God would be indistinguishable from a benevolent God, does nothing to disprove the Christian Omni God.

Further more. This argument does nothing to support my opponent's POE argument. To win this debate, my opponent must prove gratuitous evil. He has not done that.

Modal Argument from Evil

Here it is:

P1. Necessarily, God is a being that necessarily exists (must exist in all metaphysically possible worlds)

P2. If God necessarily exists THEN, necessarily no gratuitous suffering exists (exists in not one metaphysically possible world)

P3. Gratuitous suffering is possible (it exists in some metaphysically possible world)

C1. From 2 & 3, God does not necessarily exist

C2. From C1 & 1, God necessarily does not exist ~(in any metaphysically possible world, including this one)


I don't have the space to completely explain modal logic to the voters. So I'm done trying. I'll just speak from common sense. Here is what my opponents arguments boil down to.

P1 Gratuitous evil is possible. It might not exist, but it's possible it does.

C God can exist even if gratuitous evil doesn't exist, merely cause it's possible.


The argument is pure bologna. It's an attempt to reduce the BOP. Instead of actually showing that gratuitous evil exists, my opponent wants to show it might exist.

Sorry pro, it's not good enough to show that gratuitous evil "might" exist. You have the BOP to show it does exist.

If you want to use this argument that goes against common sense than you need to fully explain modal logic so the voters understand it and you need to explain why it's a good way at arriving at the truth.

modal logic also proves the existence of a benevolent God in the Modal Ontological Argument. At best the modal argument for evil cancels out the MOA, but it does nothing to prove gratuitous evil and it does nothing to prove God isn't benevolent.

Just so everyone knows what my opponent is up to let me show you a quote.

" if gratuitous suffering is 99% likely, 1% likely or 0.0001% likely, the fact that it is possible renders God unnecessary, and from premise 1, non-existent (falsified)."

That last one is 1/100 of 1%. Let's forget we aren't even arguing the POE anymore. Now we're arguing the modal argument from evil. My opponent is trying to say if gratuitous evil is a possibility of 1/100 of 1%, he wins. This is a huge attempt to switch the BOP. It is literally impossible for me to show that gratuitous evil has a 0% possibility of existing. It's also ridiculous to ask me to.

Conclusion

My opponent hasn't fulfilled premise #2 of his POE argument.
Debate Round No. 3
Envisage

Pro

Thanks Con.

Preface

I have both the utmost respect for Wylted as both a person and a debater, but I am really rather disappointed he has dropped so many arguments with his hand waving that they are allegedly not relevant to the resolution. I hold they very much are relevant to the resolution, as they all deal with evil and suffering present in the world, or could be present, which contradicts the Christian God's attributes. That after all, is exactly what the problem of evil is.

In either case, I greatly appreciate Wylted for his stiff defence this debate and for following through on his arguments. Without further ado, let's tie this all up.

II. Original Problem of Evil

Please note the problem of evil I had clarified to be a horned dilemma in the third round:

P1. Either the suffering argued is gratuitous suffering or is with a possible justifiable purpose
P2. If suffering is gratuitous suffering, THEN God is falsified (as per original PoE)
P3. If there is a possible justifiable purpose, THEN God cannot be omnipotent, falsifying God
C. In either case, God is falsified

Both horns essentially share similar reasoning, gratuitous suffering would quite obviously falsify God as per the original argument, but the latter does not fare much better. I have already given good reasons why we should accept that P2 is correct which will lead to the inescapable conclusion that the Christian God cannot exist, however (which Con agrees with).

I agree there is better opportunity for defence of the Christian God if P3 were possibly true, but even this fails as I have already argued.

So let's recap my arguments:

We have many examples of sentient beings which will not receive heavenly redemption (particularly non-humans) according to the Christian doctrine which will undergo unnecessary (gratuitous) suffering, specifically naturalistic suffering. This single line of argument has gone completely unaddressed by Con, yet it seems to be the cleanest, and most obvious example of gratuitous suffering I have provided in this debate, as such it seems that it should have been the first one that Con should have addressed.

It is well accepted within Christian circles, and biblically that man is the creature that God wants to have a personal relationship with, with complete disregard for our animal kind. However, they are demonstrably just as capable of suffering as we humans are, and on far greater scale, with zero redemption opportunities. Con's silence on this is rather deafening, and has not given me the opportunity to respond to any rebuttal he may have if he does so in the next round.

It is quite conceivable that the same objectives in which a certain amount of allegedly gratuitous suffering was induced (that we could possible give evidence of) could be accomplished with a lower amount of suffering. This 'suffering difference' is pretty convincingly, an example of a quantity of gratuitous suffering. Which effectively rebuts any free-will defence, or other purpose defence Con has put forward. Children born with chronic, lethal diseases such as HIV and cancer seem quite apparently unnecessary for the purposes which Con has put forth. There is no good reason to accept many of these people will receive redemption, now is there any reasonable purpose for this appalling scale of suffering is justified by. Most certainly none of Con's suggestions even come close to qualifying.

Now, concentrating on P3, Con's best argument is probably 'for the appreciation of God's glory'. Now I have already provided rebuttals to this, one of the most important ones were that it's perfectly conceivable that this could have been accomplished with precisely zero suffering endured. Indeed there doesn't seem to be anything logically inconsistent or contradictory about the concept. By making his glory inherently positive, or pleasurably, or euphoric, it would negate the need to purposefully induce suffering to achieve this end. If God is omnipotent, then this is quite clearly an example of malevolence, and vice-versa (as argued in P3).

Please note that this rebuttal also rules out free will as a defence, as changing one's appreciation of certain stimuli does not take away from one's free will, as I have already argued in round 2, with the oxytocin example. Con simply has not addressed this point whatsoever.

Returning to Con's objection regarding God not wanting to force his love onto others. He writes:

"A benevolent God, won't force you to love him. He won't force you to know him, glorify him, or even believe in him. God wants all these things, but he knows it's wrong to force them on you."

Let's replace 'God' with something else, like 'Bob', let's cut away from the presuppositions that cloud the issue here:

"A benevolent Bob, won't force you to love him. He won't force you to know him, glorify him, or even believe in him. Bob wants all these things, but he knows it's wrong to force them on you."

This sounds all well and good, but this ignores the fact that appalling suffering, pain and evil, on indescribably large scales are occurring as a result of Bob not wanting to force us to love him, to glorify him, to believe or know him. All because Bob wants it, but doesn't want to force the issue.

Sounds ridiculous, right? What is worse, having mind control (which I have argued already is unnecessary for this purpose), or being tortured to accept the goodness of your torturer. Outing aside these astonishing assertions, it is also a narcissistic desire, that the desire of God suddenly makes his mandatory suffering that he has induced still within the definition of omnibenevolence. This quite clearly is a demonstration of selfishness, rather than anything else.

III. Evil God Hypothesis:
Con's "so what" retort to this argument isn't going to suffice, as I have supplied it as a deductive argument. Furthermore, I have given reasons to believe that the AntiGod hypothesis is actually a better explanation than the Christian God hypothesis, as it does not run into anywhere near the number of problems with gratuitous evil and suffering.

Furthermore it is much easier to explain the alleged instances of 'good' in the context of an evil God hypothesis, as they are very conceivably just mechanisms for achieving the greatest possible evil and suffering in the world. Con has not argued against any of this, however. If the AntiGod hypothesis is more plausible than the Christian God hypothesis, then I have already satisfied my burden of proof for this debate.

IV. Modal Argument from Evil:

The argument is logically valid, as it have asserted, and Con has done nothing to attack either 1. the structure of the argument or 2. the premises.

Therefore it's pretty trivial that the conclusion has passed by without so much of a sniff of a fight from Con. Con makes some complain that I am apparently shifting the burden of proof in the debate onto him. This is clearly false, as the burden of proof is on me to justify the premises in the argument, the key premise being that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically possible. And I believe I have fulfilled that burden in my second and third rounds, which Con has completely ignored.

Con does not need to prove gratuitous suffering is impossible at all, he only needs to demonstrate that I have not proven that it is possible. THAT was Con's job in this debate. The only real retaliate Con has made here is that the Modal Ontological Argument (MOA), which uses a similar form, just as effectively demonstrates the existence of an omnibenevolent God.

However there is a massive difference between these two arguments.

The MOA asserts that the maximally great being who necessarily exists is metaphysically possible.
The Modal Argument from Evil asserts that gratuitous suffering is possible.

Both of these assertions carry a burden of proof, and both generally use the fact that these entities are conceivable, and are logically consistent. But it is very easy to argue that an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent necessary being (MGB) is way beyond our ability to comprehend, and as such this argument simply cannot be used to satisfy the premise that such a being is metaphysically possible. It is simply absurd that such a being is conceivable, and each of it's attributes may well be logically inconsistent, as is argued elsewhere.

The same problem in no way whatsoever applies to gratuitous suffering. Which is a very easy concept to conceive of. Nor is it a necessary quality, and is very difficult to see how it is logically inconsistent. This argument is far more effective for gratuitous suffering than the MGB.

By analogy, if you imagine a gaming grid, with an infinite number if boxes in it, which are to be filled in by the numbers rolled by your dice. Now, rolling the number 6 is metaphysically possible, so after enough rolls at least some of these boxes will contain the number six.

But for God to necessarily exist in these boxes, then NONE of these boxes can contain the number six, by definition. Given that this is a contradiction, then God simply cannot exist in any of these boxes.

V. Conclusion:

I can say with great confidence that I have satisfied my burden of proof on all three sub-sects of the Problem of Evil this debate encompasses. The Problem of Evil is regarded by theists and atheists alike as one of the most potent weapons against traditional theism, and indeed various examples of it have cause many to abandon their religious beliefs altogether.

From this debate, I can see why, for the seemingly best theodicys used to justify the Problem of Evil have fallen flat, and lack adequate explanatory power.

As such I strongly urge voters to vote Pro, and I gratefully look forward to any feedback voters can give.

VI. Final Remarks:

I am once again most grateful to Wylted for taking this debate and his dogged and stern defence of his position.
Wylted

Con

Introduction

Thank you Envisage for allowing me to take this debate, despite your initial resistance. I look forward to hopefully more debates about theology or philosophy with you in the future. Now on to business.

In this debate, pro had to show gratuitous evil exists in order to show the Problem of Evil argument works. If I've given you good reason to doubt that gratuitous evil exists than I've done my job and should be awarded the debate. If you feel like my opponent has proven gratuitous evil than by all means vote for him.

A summary of My Argument

A benevolent God would necessarily give his people free will. A loving God won't force you to know and love him. If God have his creatures eternal bliss, he is actually taking away their free will to voluntarily know and love him. God gave man free will and the result is moral evils.

Like it or not, God both allows and creates natural evils. He needs to. The world to a certain degree has to suck. If it didn't than how are we to ever be able to appreciate God's glory? My opponent's only solution to the natural and moral evils is to deny man free will. A benevolent God by definition can't refuse man free wil.

You don't force your children to love you, and no good parent allows their kid to go without facing some adversity, pain and resistance.

unaddressed Arguments

I've addressed every one of my opponent's major arguments. I may have missed some of his examples of gratuitous evil, but it wasn't intentionally and it was only to focus on the big picture. Which actually takes all problems into consideration.

"We have many examples of sentient beings which will not receive heavenly redemption (particularly non-humans) according to the Christian doctrine which will undergo unnecessary (gratuitous) suffering, specifically naturalistic suffering. This single line of argument has gone completely unaddressed by Con, yet it seems to be the cleanest, and most obvious example of gratuitous suffering I have provided in this debate, as such it seems that it should have been the first one that Con should have addressed."

The animal argument was barely touched on by my opponent and easy to miss. My opponent has assumed any arguments I make concerning humans don't also apply to animals. This is actually the first time he mentions animals don't go to heaven. If he'd claimed animals aren't saved earlier I could have shown that they in fact do go to heaven if they choose, or I could have argued animals are philosophical zombies, which is what most early Christians believed.

To sum this up in one sentence. Animals go to heaven. All arguments directed towards humans are applicable to all forms of life. I urge voters to disregard my opponent's claim that animals aren't awarded a wonderful afterlife.

Look my opponent hasn't shown proof of gratuitous evil anywhere. He points to horrible examples of suffering but fails to realize that even 100 years of suffering is no big deal when awarded infinite bliss. I'll take 100 years of suffering for an infinite amount of years of bliss any day.

My opponent has failed to show what the perfect amount of suffering is, either. If there is too much suffering now than what does he propose is the perfect amount. In reality any suffering over absolutely none, won't satisfy my opponent.

Off Topic

I'll address the other arguments, because I feel obliged. However the voters should understand that this debat is about a famous argument called "The Problem of Evil". Go ahead google the term. Wikipedia it. The problem of evil is an entirely different argument than the Evil God argument. The 2 aren't related. It's an entirely different argument than the modal argument from evil. These arguments are off topic and shouldn't even be happening. Seriously each round could have been 5,000 words if we avoided these off topic arguments.

Evil God

The evil God hypothesis does nothing other than show that an evil god would be indistinguishable from a benevolent one. It doesn't disprove a benevolent God. The evil God argument just isn't very impressive. Given the justification of percieved evil I've given, the evil God hypothesis is no more likely than a benevolent God.

The Modal Argument From Evil

As I've already explained before the Modal Argument From Evil as presented by my opponent is not the proper use of modal logic. Unlike him I don't expect voters to learn about modal logic to understand my arguments.

My opponent proclaims that even if gratuitous evil has a 1 in a billion chance of existing, it disproves a benevolent God. This isn't a logic problem, though. This is the real world, and in the real world there is either a 100% chance if gratuitous suffering or a zero percent chance.

My opponent has failed to prove gratuitous evil. It isn't his fault. It I impossible to prove such a concept. Our time horizons are 2 short and our knowledge of the here after and God's motives are too shallow to be able to conclude that gratuitous suffering exists.

He's shown that maybe gratuitous suffering exists. Well maybe isn't good enough. He needs to prove it and despite conventional wisdom, gratuitous evil is harder to prove than any sort of theistic argument you can think of. I applaud his heroic efforts, but he falls short.

The Argument

With all this discussion completely unrelated to the POE, it's easy to forget what that argument was to start with. So let's take a look again. The argument is in my opponent's R2 arguments under the appropriate section heading entitle Problem of Evil.

P1. If the Christian God exists THEN gratuitous suffering will not exist
P2. Gratuitous suffering exists
Conclusion. The Christian God does not exist.


The argument isn't logically sound, because P2 hasn't been proven.

Please vote con
Debate Round No. 4
240 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Luke_Krog 2 years ago
Luke_Krog
I understand and my profile is indeed correct. I would be up for a debate sometime. Haven't really done any serious debating but I could probably manage.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
@ Luke_Krog: You seem very knowledgeable for your age, if it is as your profile depicts.
Maybe we can debate one of those contentions.
But private messaging is not something I have much time for.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Looks like my argument needs more work.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
No
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 2 years ago
JasperFrancisShickadance
Wylted, do you really believe in God?
Posted by Luke_Krog 2 years ago
Luke_Krog
Okay, okay, I actually admit that I was replying compulsively and ignorantly. However, I am actually interested in conversing with you Sagey (you are an Atheist correct?) because you are a smart guy and know your stuff. We should probably move it to private messaging though because it has nothing to do with this debate.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Thanks
Posted by Loveshismom 2 years ago
Loveshismom
Congrants on winning, Wylted!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
LOL Trew Empiren!

:-D~
Posted by Empiren 2 years ago
Empiren
"Unlike the flat-Earth idea, the idea of God cannot be proven to be false. Good luck trying though and good luck convincing anyone that your ideas have any legitimacy, because you certainly didn't here."

What is with people on DDO and the repetition of that fallacy.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

It's like when people argue for god from morality or intelligent design and keep using the god of the gaps fallacy. Sheesh.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
Jonbonbon
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a pretty rough read, but there was an argument that I feel was able to negate the resolution to the point that I could not award pro the arguments point. This -> "A benevolent God, won't force you to love him. He won't force you to know him, glorify him, or even believe in him. God wants all these things, but he knows it's wrong to force them on you" is the summary of the reason I give con the argument point.
Vote Placed by Empiren 2 years ago
Empiren
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Although I disagree with Con in the theme of the argument, Pro simply presented his arguments poorly and without proper explanation. However Con also argued that there is no proof of "gratuitous" suffering from the start saying it was impossible to show, which is not the case. If Pro had provided such instead of what seems to be a poor copy of another's argument, then he would have won. He did not so I do not vote that his argument was more convincing. Everything else was even.
Vote Placed by voxprojectus 2 years ago
voxprojectus
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I love problem of evil debates and this one was well-argued on both sides. I'm giving it to Con on the grounds that Con utilized some arguments I'd never heard and does a good job supporting the idea that P2 of POE is in fact difficult, if not impossible to prove. Well done both of you though!
Vote Placed by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: while i side with con, i don't think he showed how free will requires that suffering exist. there are probably arguments that support him, but he wasn't able enough to get into the best stuff.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Con did a good job to change the debate to a "Christian God" and not a "Omnibenevolent Christian God." However, the omni god will still relevant to the debate as shown bot by Con and Pro. I think Pro did a good job to show that gratuitous evil exists, and the only way Con can get around this is by categorizing the various aspects of god while debating certain arguments but this also means giving up the omni god in a clever debate tactic. For this reason if the omni god was ignored in the debate I would have awarded Con a win, but in Round 2 Con brought up the omni god. As such the win must go to Pro.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Well done. RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Pro's argument was stronger and Con's argument did not convince me that a Christian God if it existed, would consider suffering and Evil (if it existed) as having a purpose. Suffering exists and Evil does not exist, the excuse of fear and suffering for the purpose of forcing devotion to God does not point to the existence of the Christian God, but more rationally to the falsification of the concept of Evil to usurp people into paying for belief in a false God, for the purpose of power and gaining assets/money.
Vote Placed by neutral 2 years ago
neutral
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: There is, and has long been, a problem with the proverbial problem of evil. If omnibenevolance is true, than con's argument wins, because no matter how clear you think the suffering is ... there is ALWAYS some greater reason that you are simply unaware of. That is the premise of the claim of omni whatever. Attempting to apply logic to a claim that can, and does, defy logic is an attempt to judge it ... and yet, if its true, no matter what you claim is bad, its good anyway. How do you disprove that? Logically, you don't.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. Conclusion (because it wasn't worth posting a whole separate comment for it): It was a really, really close debate, and both sides made some very strong arguments/rebuttals, but ultimately, Con effectively refuted the PoE argument via "greater good"/"unknowable purpose", the modal argument was too confusing for me, and the Evil God argument did not successfully affirm the resolution (not the way Pro presented it, anyways). Since Pro had the BOP, and none of his three arguments showed that the PoE disproves the Christian God's existence, my vote goes to to Con. Awesome debate!
Vote Placed by andymcstab 2 years ago
andymcstab
EnvisageWyltedTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con won simply because pro could never show that gratuitous suffering exists. Also as con touched on in the end, a life of complete torture can still be the product of an benevolent God in the face of eternal bliss. Any length of time compared to infinity equals nothing.