The Instigator
Muted
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
popculturepooka
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Problem of Evil is insufficient an argument against the Christian God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Muted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,194 times Debate No: 26908
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (46)
Votes (6)

 

Muted

Pro

This debate is simple and I hope to keep it this way. The Problem of Evil is widely debated. I am not disputing that there is evil here. I am disputing that the problem of evil is excuse enough not to believe in the Christian God. That is, to present it as an opposition to the validity of God.

I doubt the need of definitions, hence I will not provide one. Rather, I rely on the integrity of my opponent, whoever he/she may be.

Rules
1. No trolling/vulgarities.
2. No plagiarism
3. Comments in the comment section is required for voters. (Principally because I want to know how to improve myself)
4. BoP is shared.

There will be five rounds. The first will be for acceptance only.

5 rounds. 72hrs. 8k characters.
popculturepooka

Con

I accept.

But I just want to explain which sort of evil that will figure into my argument. I will be talking about horrendous evils. A horrendous evil may be explicated on as follows:

"...the participation in which (that is, the doing or suffering of which) constitutes prima facie reason to doubt whether the participant’s life could (given their inclusion in it) be a great good to him/her on the whole.” As examples of such evil, Adams lists “the rape of a woman and axing off of her arms, psycho-physical torture whose ultimate goal is the disintegration of personality, betrayal of one’s deepest loyalties, child abuse of the sort described by Ivan Karamazov, child pornography, parental incest, slow death by starvation, the explosion of nuclear bombs over populated areas” (p.26).

A horrendous evil, it may be noted, may be either a moral evil (e.g., the Holocaust of 1939-45) or a natural evil (e.g., the Lisbon earthquake of 1755). It is also important to note that it is the notion of a “horrendous moral evil” that comports with the current, everyday use of “evil” by English speakers. When we ordinarily employ the word “evil” today we do not intend to pick out something that is merely bad or very wrong (e.g., a burglary), nor do we intend to refer to the death and destruction brought about by purely natural processes (we do not, for example, think of the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster as something that was “evil”). Instead, the word “evil” is reserved in common usage for events and people that have an especially horrific moral quality or character." [1]


Sources

[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...;

Debate Round No. 1
Muted

Pro

I will be focusing more on trying to solve the problem such that it no longer becomes a valid objection. I will be talking about unnecessary evil, such as described by Pro. (Some of the information here would be taken from website and places which I will not cite. I will just say that the concept is not exactly original, but the wording is. This is to avoid charges of plagiarism)

Accepting the premises to be true, then
P1. There is evil in this world
P2. God is good
P3. God is omnipotent and omnipresent
Conclusion: A good God allows evil into this world.

Now I will discuss the main objections.
If what P2-3 says about God is true, then the next logical premise is that He would eliminate it because He would want to eliminate what goes against His qualities.

However, we know of the evil in this world, all the pain, suffering, disease. To innocent people, no less. Thus it must be concluded that God is neither good, nor omnipotent, nor omnipresent and this makes a contradiction. Or is it?

In my attempt to solve this puzzle, I will use the concept of free will as popularized by Alvin Plantinga.
(For this debate, I will assume that the Bible is accurate. Thus, the focus can be more narrow on the Problem of Evil)

God has allowed every human something called free will. This allows us to choose to follow His will, or to depart from His ways. It also allows us to make everyday choices.

But doesn"t the idea of free will contradict an omnipotent God? That is, an omnipotent God who created an entirely virtuous world filled with virtuous people.

This is contradicted by the fact that God cannot do a nothing. What is a nothing? A nothing is a logical contradiction. This logical contradiction comes in various forms, the most common being that of "An all-powerful God creating a stone too heavy for Him to lift."
This statement may seem good on the surface, but when examined closer, it falls apart. It basically states "A being that can lift anything creating something too heavy for that being to lift."

So how can the idea of free will contradicting God"s omnipotence be a logical contradiction?
The answer, I propose, is simple. God is simple. Simple means that He is not composed of parts. This is because he is self-existent and cannot be composed of parts. Therefore, "The Will of God" is the same as "the omnipotence of God." They both refer to the same being. This means that every of God"s attributes qualifies his other attributes. This is not in any way contradictory.

It then must be asked, Why did God allow us free will? Basically, if we did not have free will, we would just be automatons and it is impossible to love something that cannot love back. Love is mutual. Thus, an elimination of evil would lead to an elimination of good.

One might argue here. Oh, then what about a world without evil or good? Is that possible? Are there absolutely neutral actions?

Now that PoE by means of humans has been addressed, it then brings us to the topic of Natural Evil. Like that of Pompeii.
There are several possible explanation for this. I will just focus on the one given by Plantinga.
Natural evils are the result of the Fall. This means that all natural disasters, diseases, etc. are the result of the ongoing punishment meted out to Adam and Eve for their disobedience.

Now I will go to the topic of is it an objection enough?

Firstly the question must be asked, Does the objector have the same problem? Yes they do.
The objector has to account for the problem without saying that there is no evil. This is impossible.

Christianity is the only religion/worldview that has a good answer to the problem of evil. Thus, comparatively, the problem of evil cannot be used against Christianity because to point a finger means that there are three fingers pointing back.

Based on my opponents criticism, I will revise and strengthen my arguments as needs be. I know this is not the best, but this is my first debate on PoE and I"ve never really discussed the topic before.
popculturepooka

Con

popculturepooka forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Muted

Pro

extend all arguments
popculturepooka

Con

popculturepooka forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
popculturepooka

Con

popculturepooka forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
popculturepooka

Con

popculturepooka forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
46 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by popculturepooka 4 years ago
popculturepooka
There's nothing inherently bad about cognitive dissonance in the first place. It can be an instrumental good in fact, and can lead to motivation to resolve it thus making your beliefs more consistent.

Really? What one of my fundamental beliefs is that I center the whole of my existence on "getting mine" or selfishness? Or that I should kill and oppress and subjugate all those whose beliefs differ from mine? So what if these beliefs are NOT replaced if they are exposed? They NEED to be exposed.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Cognitive dissonance is holding two contradictory opinions/ideas at the same time. It is quite different from playing the devil's advocate.
Posted by Ahmed.M 4 years ago
Ahmed.M
>>"My (religious) faith isn't so fragile that I have to avoid coming up with and considering objections to things I believe; if it really IS that fragile then it's probably not worth having in the first place. I'm not worried about it at all. If it's true, and I believe it is, then I have nothing to fear. Truth prevails. If it isn't then I want to know that. Sealing yourself off - even your most cherished beliefs - from self-criticism is a pretty bad way to go about getting at the truth."

No what i was trying to say is that every time in this debate you post and argument you must have a perfect rebuttal to it. If not, then you will have cognitive dissonance that's pretty simple.

Regarding your other comment, I actually think sealing your most fundamental beliefs (on existence by which you go about your daily living) from all criticism is vital to the health of your own psyche. If you allow your beliefs especially crucial ones to be exposed then there is a strong chance they could be shattered and NOT BE REPLACED. what now? You have no belief on your current existence.

Someone cannot truly function in society for example if they don't truly believe in their own existence or the existence of morals and the uniformity of nature.

Ignorance is bliss.
Posted by popculturepooka 4 years ago
popculturepooka
Or the TL;DR version:

1 Thessolonians 5:21

Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Posted by popculturepooka 4 years ago
popculturepooka
My (religious) faith isn't so fragile that I have to avoid coming up with and considering objections to things I believe; if it really IS that fragile then it's probably not worth having in the first place. I'm not worried about it at all. If it's true, and I believe it is, then I have nothing to fear. Truth prevails. If it isn't then I want to know that. Sealing yourself off - even your most cherished beliefs - from self-criticism is a pretty bad way to go about getting at the truth.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Playing a devil's advocate shows that one is aware of the arguments for and against one's own position. This allows for greater confidence.
Posted by Ahmed.M 4 years ago
Ahmed.M
Everytime a devil's advocate makes an argument, he must have a perfect rebuttal to it that he won't expose. What if he (Con) cannot think of a perfect rebuttal to his own devil's advocate argument. You will experience your own cognitive dissonance.
Posted by Ahmed.M 4 years ago
Ahmed.M
is it possible to be such a good devil's advocate that you convince yourself of your devil's advocate argument?
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
@Muzebreak, consider the qualifier, morally significant. Also consider that God does not casually determine in every situation to choose right or wrong. Thus, no strings attached. This is logically possible and probably was the case before the fall.

So therefore, yes, she had free will before the fall. And no, the knowledge revealed does not make God evil.
Posted by muzebreak 4 years ago
muzebreak
"For this debate, I will assume that the Bible is accurate. Thus, the focus can be more narrow on the Problem of Evil"

"God has allowed every human something called free will."

Didnt the fruit in the garden give eve the knowledge of evil? Does that mean she didnt have free will before that?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: Con must have had something more important to do.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
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Vote Placed by truthseeker613 4 years ago
truthseeker613
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Vote Placed by unitedandy 4 years ago
unitedandy
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Vote Placed by mecap 4 years ago
mecap
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Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits.