The Instigator
tarkovsky
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
FourTrouble
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Problem of Evil

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,273 times Debate No: 22312
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
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tarkovsky

Pro

Resolution: The existence of evil suggests that the Judeo-Christian God (God of the Bible) is evil.

Pro will be affirming the resolution, Con will be negating.

Judeo-Christian God- omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent creator of all things.

Round one for acceptance.

I look forward to an interesting debate, thanks in advance.



FourTrouble

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
tarkovsky

Pro

I’d like to begin by establishing that our definition of God is accurate, I quote the Nicene Creed, “the creed that summarises the orthodox faith of the Christian Church...”[1]:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen...

So, we have a solid basis from which we can assert that, indeed, God should be interpreted as the creator of all. In any case, as it was adopted as part of the terms of the debate, we will stick to this definition from this point forward.

The Problem

The problem of evil is of such a remarkable burden to the Judeo-Christian faith, that an entire area of theology, known as theodicy, is given to remove it, entirely, from religion. It is from this problem that we will draw our argument today. Our case is as follows:

1. God created all things.
2. Evil is a member of the set of all things.
C. God created evil.

Premise one comes from our definition and, by the terms of the debate, must be accepted. Two is more or less straightforward, though semantic caviling might repudiate with the corporeality of “things”. This is a more or less harmless argument though, as we have already stated that he is the creator of all that is “seen and unseen” and, here, “things”, is simply a rhetorical expediant to refer to everything, corporeal or non-corporeal. Three follows necessarily. Thus, we’ve demonstrated that if evil exists, God necessarily created it.

Omniscient

It’s important to here to point out, God was defined as an omniscient being, implying God is an intelligent being. So, it’s also reasonable to assume that the act of creation for God would have an noetic component. This is tantamount to saying that, by creating something, God has a perfect knowledge of that something, sub specie aeternitatis.

Creation

Here one must be careful to really understand, in order to preserve the identity of the Judeo-Christian God, what is meant by “creation”. If God is omniscient, he must already know that he was going to create all things. That is, as God actually brought all things into existence, they must have existed as a kind of divine knowledge. At the same time, since this knowledge is a divine knowledge, it still is categorically related to God and, ipso facto, we can say that he literally created them rather than just caused them. In other words, since it is a divine knowledge we won’t see it as some sort of separate knowledge or principle of everything, existing with God but, more or less, independent of him. That is to say, God brought all things into existence; the principle(s) of everything came from God. If it were the case that all things existed as an independent knowledge or principle(s), it would seem unfair to say God created all things, as he merely actualized these principles that are independent of him; God transformed all things.


C. God Created Evil

From this point, we can conduct a more narrow analysis of the conclusion of the aforementioned syllogism with the aim of validating our resolution. If God created all things, we must say all things are an expression of God. Should it not be the case that all things are expressions of God we will have conceded that all things have their own independent principle(s), for which God cannot account. If God really created all things, as we have already accepted, then God is the progenitor of the fundamental principle(s) of everything. Thus, if God is the progenitor of evil, he is also the creator of the fundamental principle of evil; the creator of evil, sub specie aeternitatis. Furthermore, that the creative act is tantamount to an expressive act is true primae facie; creation is a form of expression.

Now then,

1. All things are exressions of God
2. Evil is a member of the set of all things.
C. Evil is an expression of God.

We must accept one, should we wish to preserve the identity the Judeo-Christian faith has for God. Two has already been explained and is, more or less, a primae facie truth. Three follows necessarily. I’ll restate this with slightly different wording to help elucidate our meaning:

1. Each member in the set of all things is an expression of God.
2. Evil is a member in the set of all things.
C. Evil is an expression of God.

God is evil

From the foregoing conclusion, we can finally arrive at our resolution. If evil is an expression of God and expressions are merely contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle, then God is the underlying nature or principle of evil. Thus, God is evil. This is not to say that God is evil and nothing else. We shouldn’t interpret this statement as implying that the Judeo-Christian God is up to no good, always only looking for ways to cause trouble. You could use our very same argument to show that God is love, that God is goodness ect. ect. God is effectively the reconciliation of good and evil. God isn’t the morally grey inbetween but the particulate ultimate good and the particulate ultimate evil, in one. He isn’t one half of a dichotomy, but the final hypostasis of both members of it.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
FourTrouble

Con

Introduction

The starting point or common ground of this debate is the definition of the Judeo-Christian God. Among other things, The Judeo-Christian God is defined as morally perfect being, omnipotent, omniscient, and the creator of all things. A morally perfect being, by definition, cannot be evil. If evil exists, it does not logically follow that the Judeo-Christian God is evil.

If evil exists, there are other conclusions that are more logically consistent and coherent with the definition of God. For example, we could conclude with logical consistency that God does not exist. Or, we could conclude with equal logical consistency that God allows evil to exist because it serves a greater purpose. The first conclusion is generally accepted by atheists, the second by theists. Because there are explanations for the existence of evil that are more logical and thus proabable than concluding God is evil, it is not reasonable to believe the existence of evil suggests God is evil.

Re: Pro's case

Pro's argument can be summed up as follows:

1. Evil exists
2. God created evil.
3. Creation is a form of expression.
4. Evil is thus an expression of God.
5. Expressions are "merely contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle."
6. Therefore, God is evil.

Every single premise and conclusion in Pro's argument is questionable. Pro provides no evidence evil exists. If the Judeo-Christian God exists, it is more logically consistent to conclude that evil does not exist.

(2) is dubious at best. Even if God created all things and evil exists, it does not follow that God created evil. It is more logical to conclude that evil is the lack of good. The Augustinian and Thomistic view of evil holds that evil is the privation of good. Hence, when there is an absence of good, evil exists. God created good. Evil is simply its absence, which is thus not created by God.

(3) and (4) lead Pro into a double bind. If (3) is false, then so is the conclusion of Pro's argument. There is good reason to believe (3) is false. Expression implies intention. As illustration of this point, consider the word "help" etched into a wall. At first, it may be interpreted as a call for assistance or as the sign of a Beatles song. But suppose you were given irrefutable proof that this was the result of a leaking pipe on the ceiling. It would no longer carry any meaning. Without an intention behind or above it, the word "help" is completely meaningless. The point being, things are often created without any intention. Hence, creation is not by necessity a form of expression.

Hypothetically, suppose (3) is true. Pro's argument must nonetheless fail. Why? Because expression implies intention. Hence, coupled with (4), Pro admits that "evil" has a clear intent and purpose. Because God is morally perfect, if God created evil, it must have been with a moral intention. Logic, and logic alone, tells us that God's purpose behind creating evil must coincide, by God's definition, with God's moral perfection. Hence, the intention and purpose of evil is good. God's expression itself, which is defined through intentionality, must be good. Therefore, God is good, not evil.

(5) puts Pro in yet another double bind. If it is true, Pro admits the same conclusion as (3) and (4). (5) acknowledges an "underlying nature or principle" behind the creation of evil, and this principle is God. God is morally perfect. Therefore, Pro has concluded that what we think is evil is actually good. God, by definition, cannot be evil. The logical conclusion of Pro's argument is that "evil" has a "good" intention or "underlying nature," not that God is evil.

That said, there is good reason to believe (5) is false, in which case Pro's argument is moot anyway. According to the existentialist philosopher Sartre, existence precedes essence. Applying that truth here, expression precedes its underlying nature. Expression is existence, essence is its nature or principle. Heidegger's fundamental ontology in Being and Time would support this argument. Meaning, Heidegger argues, is produced temporally, which is to say, it is always projecting towards the future. This means that the meaning of any "expression" does not lie in an "underlying nature," but rather, lies in the future projection of that expression. In the case of evil, we would say that its creator, God, is not evil, but rather, its future possibility is.

Every premise and conclusion in Pro's argument is dubious. But what is worse, Pro's argument is self-refuting. If we accept either (3), (4), or (5) as true, Pro's conclusion cannot be true. So whether Pro's premises are true or not, Pro's conclusion that God is evil is false in every case.

Conclusion

I have completely refuted Pro's argument. Expression implies intentionality. For that reason alone, Pro's premises actually work against Pro's end.

So what is the proper conclusion if evil exists? There are three possibilities that can be defended logically: 1) the Judeo-Christian God does not exist; or 2) there is a greater moral purpose behind the creation of evil; or 3) evil is the absence of good. The argument for (1) is quite clear. (2) is defended through various means. For example, by arguing that God could not eliminate evil without eliminating the greater good of free will, or by arguing that God provides humans with ethical choices because we need to see evil to understand what is good. I think both of these arguments work logically. As for (3), it is the classic Augustinian and Thomistic view of evil. It is just as valid and logical a conclusion as any.

Because there are better explanations for the existence of evil than concluding that God is evil, the resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
tarkovsky

Pro

Points On Introductory Statements

Among other things, The Judeo-Christian God is defined as morally perfect being, omnipotent, omniscient, and the creator of all things. A morally perfect being, by definition, cannot be evil.

Firstly, Con makes a claim of a rather tall order in stating that a morally perfect being cannot be evil, by definition. There is no generally accepted understanding of what it means to be ‘morally perfect’ and, more to the point, some have argued that only God can truly know what it means to be ‘morally perfect’. I might say that the ability to reconcile evil and good would imply an even greater moral perfection than simply eschewing the former. Nonetheless, if there were one, Swineborne’s own definition of ‘moral perfection’ would be the most widely accepted and it defines ‘moral perfection’ as that state of not having done anything that is morally wrong. This definition is patently behaviouristic, thus not in any direct contradiction with the statement “God is evil”, as evil here refers to the essential nature of something, not behavioral aspects; God is not evil because he does evil things, but because evil is accounted for by God. Defining a term ad arbitrarum in order to suit the needs of an argument is less than sufficient and implies question begging. Thus, we shall reject Con’s proposition that 'a morally perfect being cannot be evil by definition'.

Because there are explanations for the existence of evil that are more logical and thus proabable than concluding God is evil, it is not reasonable to believe the existence of evil suggests God is evil.

Note, this statement is, itself, Con’s argument against the resolution. Any points brought up concerning my argument are merely auxiliary points. This is Con’s refutation of our resolution. This seems like an argument from parsimony, but Con is fails to adequately explain this point so it's hard to say exactly. I’ll return to this later.

Rejoinder

The first and most important refutation in this rejoinder will be the rejection of Con’s apercu regarding my case. That is to say, we reject Con’s statement that those propositions and conclusion enumerated 1 through 6, stand as a summary of my argument. Con attempts to refute many of these by construing them as mere premises when, in fact, many are valid conclusions, belonging to a syllogism. These attacks are part of an overall straw man as he is attacking a respective point as if it were a premise, independent from the syllogism to which they belonged in my original case. To be more exact:

“1. Evil exists”

Rejected outright as it was never asserted that evil existed, nor was it implied (enthymeme). The aim of this argument isn’t to prove evil exists, only that its existence (should it exist) suggests that God is evil.

“2. God created evil”

A validly derived conclusion from my first syllogism. Con concedes that God created everything, therefore he must provide an argument demonstrating the negation of the second premise of my first syllogism, viz., “evil is a member of the set of all things.” which he never does. Therefore, we reject any refutations herein.

At the same time, if we decide to entertain Con’s argument: Con concedes the incompleteness of his own definition of God when he says “Among other things...” His argument that evil is the absence of God, therefore not a creation, is at odds with one of the many “other things” he refers to, namely, omnipresence.

“3. Creation is a form of expression”

We shall accept any refutations offered here by Con, as this point was not the conclusion of any of our syllogisms. Con emphasizes that “Expression implies intention”. However, the illustration he offers is malapropos as it aims to show that some things are created accidentally and, thus, express nothing. This point is already dealt with in the section of my argument entitled “Omniscient”. This section explains that God is an intelligent being and the act of creation for God must have a noetic component as God must have perfect knowledge of everything, including those things he creates. A leaky pipe has no intelligence and, thus, has no relevance.

“4. Evil is thus an expression of God”

Once again, refutations here will be rejected as Con must treat this as a valid conclusion where, in order to refute, he must demonstrate the invalidity or unsoundness of its respective syllogism. Furthermore, his rejected argumentation relies on an equally rejected definition of moral perfection.

5. Expressions are “merely contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle.”

We shall accept any refutations herein as a proof of this assertion was never syllogistically provided by my case. However, Con’s argument implicitly depends on an already rejected premise, viz., that moral perfection is mutually exclusive with evil. Should we decide to entertain this argument for the sake of finality, we could show that con’s position doesn’t demonstrate what he purports it to. Con states the logical consequence of this statement would be:“What we think is evil is actually good.” If evil is good then good is evil, why should we prefer one term to the other when they are, demonstrably, synonymous? Additionally, this renders Con’s definition of ‘moral perfection’ either logically invalid, or utterly meaningless. Per his definition, either God cannot be evil, which is tantamount to saying he cannot be good, which is tantamount to saying he cannot be himself, or the definition presents a false dilemma in that being evil was never a problem in the first place.

Con’s points on atheistic existentialism are more or less harmless. Con indulges in a bold assertion fallacy when he claims that “existence precedes essence” is a “truth”. Any analyses led by Sartre on this matter are extremely dubious as Heidegger, who Sartre professed was the starting point and inspiration of his work, disavows Sartre’s analyses as he says they are predicated out of a fundamental misreading of his works and are, thus, utterly worthless. [1] Furthermore, Heidegger’s particular brand of existentialism is just that, a brand of existentialism. Why should we prefer it to, say, Kierkegaard's theistic existentialism, wherein Kierkegaard argues, each thing is a more constituted self insofar as it is more constituted in God. That is to say, In order to reach the highest level of self-hood, or essence or meaning, you must have God: “in relating to itself and wanting to be itself, the self is grounded transparently in the power that established it.” (describing the state of the self when despair is completely eradicated: the true self.).[2] This implies meaning comes from God.

First Comments on Parsimony
I’ll leave more to say in the next round, but for now, I will say that applying parsimony, here, is at best questionable as my argument aims to reduce all dichotomies to a single resolution, which is, in some ways, simpler. Nonetheless, parsimony is not a law of logic nor is it an infallible arbiter in judging the truth of two already established and competing claims. Moreover, I entreat that we simply cannot accept this as a cogent refutation of our resolution until Con effectively demonstrates, in detail, how these “other conclusions” are more logical and more probable.

Conclusions

I entreat that our readers recognize that, in fact, none of the components of Pro’s case have been adequately dealt with and all components have yet to be refuted. Con’s arguments either misrepresent my case and proceed to attack the misrepresentation (straw man), or fails to adequately refute my claims.

Citations

[1]: http://plato.stanford.edu...
Point 4.

[2]: Kierkegaard, Soren. The Sickness Unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Edification and Awakening. London, England: Penguin, 1989. Print.

FourTrouble

Con

Burden of Proof

Recall the resolution states: "The existence of evil suggests that the Judeo-Christian God (God of the Bible) is evil." The resolution does not state, "If evil exists, its existence suggests..." The resolution clearly implies that both evil and God exist. My opponent, as instigator/Pro, has the burden to show both evil and God exist, and therefore, that God is evil.

Definition of God

Moral perfection connotes perfect goodness. The Judeo-Christian God is perfectly good and morally perfect. The concept of an evil God is incoherent and logically impossible. Unless Pro can prove God can be good and evil at the same time, the Judeo-Christian God cannot be, by definition, evil.

Fallacy of Composition

Pro's argument commits the fallacy of composition, which "arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole." [1] Pro argues that because evil must be a part of God, God must be evil. This commits the fallacy of composition, and therefore, Pro's conclusion is false.

Evil does not exist

Pro claims God created everything, therefore God created evil. This implies evil exists. I argued evil does not exist. Pro drops this argument.

Pro states:"it was never asserted that evil existed, nor was it implied (enthymeme). The aim of this argument isn't to prove evil exists."

By dropping my argument, and claiming the existence of evil was never "asserted," "implied," nor "prove[n]," Pro admits evil does not exist. This could be taken as a concession.

Expression implies intention

Pro claims everything God does or creates must have an intention. I disagree. Perfect knowledge of everything does not imply intentionality behind everything. If God creates goodness, and evil emerges after the fact as the absence of good, does that mean God created evil with an intention? No. It means evil was created as the expected (because God is omniscient) but unintended side-effect of creating goodness.

Expressions are "merely contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle"

Pro misunderstands the meaning of the statement, "what we think is evil is actually good." The key word here is "we" and "actually." Hence, correctly interpreted the statement reads: "Although human beings may believe God is evil, in actuality God is good." Recall I argued the following: because God, by definition, cannot be evil, God's hypothetical expression of evil does not in and of itself make God evil. The point is to show that expressions do not point to an "underlying nature or principle" behind them.

Expressions imply a system of representation in which they are expressed. In short, expressions imply a language through which they are expressed. According to the linguist Saussure, signification in languages occurs through negative differences. For example, the word "cat" means "not dog." Words are defined by what they are not. As such, Derrida noticed that no expression or word has an "underlying nature." The reason is because every expression or word produces never-ending stream of negative significations, in which meaning is always deferred. A quick look at the dictionary illustrates this point. Words are defined by other words. But you can never reach the essence or nature of the word through the word itself.

Pro's premise that expressions are representations of an underlying nature or principle cannot be proven. A representation of any kind, whether it be a word or some other kind of symbol, does not point back to an underlying nature. As Heidegger might say, it projects towards future possibilities. On the point of Heidegger, notice that Pro elevates Heidegger to the status of an authority by using Heidegger to contest Sartre. I agree with Pro, Heidegger is right about the temporality of being and meaning.

Conclusion

I have fully addressed and refuted all of Pro's case. In closing, I remind readers that I offered two superior conclusions to the problem of evil. First, I argue that the problem of evil suggests that God does not exist. Second, I argue the problem of evil suggests God allows evil to exist because it serves a greater moral purpose. If God cannot be evil by definition, then both of these explanations are more logically consistent with the definition of God provided in this debate. As the definition of God is implied by the problem of evil itself, it seems reasonable to conclude that these explanations are more logically consistent not only with the definition of God but with the problem of evil. Pro left both of those arguments unrefuted.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
tarkovsky

Pro

Introductory Remarks

The resolution need not be stated as a conditional in order to lift the onus of establishing that both evil and God exist. Implicit premises are logically acceptable and don’t invalidate their related arguments. [1] It’s perfectly acceptable to extend this same sort of understanding to our resolution.

It is impossible to say what, both, perfect goodness and moral perfection entail. Deriving from these two inscrutable qualities that God cannot be evil is utterly baseless and arbitrary. This definition is given ad arbitrarum. It is an even further assumption on Con's part that the Judeo-Christian God must be a logically coherent entity. In fact, I submit, as the combined attributes of omniscience and omnipotence in a single entity is not logical coherent, the onus is Con's to demonstrate that the Judeo-Christian is a logical entity.

Finally, the fallacy of composition is irrelevant here as God is “a being than which no greater can be conceived” [2]. A unified being is more perfect than a divided one, therefore to say that God is evil doesn’t refer to some part of God that is evil but to God in his totality.

Disputations

Evil Does Not Exist
Con nicely highlights the subtle difference in meanings that he conveniently forgets when dealing with our resolution. It was never our aim to prove that evil exists in an epistemic sense (as a fact of the world, that it is out there and that can be stopped) but that the ontological structure of evil implies some feature about God. For example, Con's own ontological understanding of evil states that evil isn’t a kind of existence but the absence of a certain kind of existence, similar to how ignorance isn’t a kind of knowledge, but a lack of certain types of knowledge.
Furthermore, Con plainly lies when he says: “ I argued evil does not exist.” I’ll remind Con and the rest of readers that Con’s previous argument stated: “Even if God created all things and evil exists, it does not follow that God created evil.” (underlining is my own) His argument assumed not only that my first premise was true (God created all things) but that my second premise was equally true and evil did exist. Now he states that he rejected our second premise all along which is demonstrably untrue.
As this prospective refutation finally merits consideration, I will address it. Once again, earlier Con conceded to the incompleteness of his own definition of God and by this concession I add that omnipresence is a characteristic that is commonly attributed to the Judeo-Christian God. Should God be omnipresent, this argument fails as there is nowhere where God is not, thus the notion is absurd.[3]**

Expression Implies Intention
Con’s particular argument from this academic motif depends on the contradictory idea of the absence of an omnipresent God. Aside from this, there is the glaring misunderstanding that God is subject the logical consequence of the existence of good. I preempt this in round one and explain that the principles of everything cannot be independent of God whilst God remain the creator of everything. If evil emerges after the fact, it is because God made it that way. Any other interpretation is inconsistent with the idea of a Judeo-Christian God.


Expressions are merely representations of an underlying nature or principle
In his first paragraph, Con provides with a non-sequitor. Should we as humans be unable to comprehend how it is that what we call evil is, sub specie aeterniatis, actually good, it does not then follow this means that expressions do not point to an underlying meaning or nature.

In his second paragraph Con attempts to refute my claim that ‘expressions are contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle.' He explains that much of semiotics holds that words or expressions of any sort don’t refer backwards to some real essential nature or thing that is the word or expression.

I will show that Con’s statement that words never refer to the essential nature or the essential thing that the representation is, doesn’t hold in all cases. Take for example the esteemed Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky [4]. It is a known fact that Tarkovsky yearned to, but never adapted Doestoyevsky’s “The Idiot”. Now imagine a world wherein Tarkovsky was able to adapt “The Idiot” as it is certainly plausible. The point is that in talking about Tarkovsky being present in this world we are actually referring to Tarkovsky. That is to say, all possible worlds, mutatis mutandis, will have the same Tarkovsky in it should Tarkovsky be part of the description of that world, for each thing that might happen differently to him, happens to him. Thus, there is something the name “Andrei Tarkovsky” is referring to that is immutable, essential, and constitutive of Tarkovsky; that “Tarkovsky” refers to something that is the same in all possible worlds. I hold that this ratifies my claim that expressions are contingent representations of an underlying nature or principle. Moreover, this is a refutation for Con’s claim that my premise “cannot be proven” and that “a representation of any kind... does not point back to an underlying nature. As a corollary, my argument awaits a proper refutation, and until given, must be accepted on its own basis.

As a kind of footnote, Con concedes my point that one philosopher’s interpretative framework is as good as another and that there is no apparent reason why we should prefer one’s to the other’s. Thus, until Con can provide an adequate argument for why meaning is produced temporally (this means something besides: “...Heidegger argues...” as, here, it is your job to do the arguing, not Heidegger’s).

Finally, I’ll point out that, as much as I would have liked to debate Con’s claim that he has offered more reasonable alternatives to the problem of evil, he has failed to explain at even the most marginal level, how he has arrived at this claim in that he hasn’t yet put forth an explanation of what he means by “the problem of evil”. I can only imagine Con is referring to the ‘Epicurean problem of evil’ [5] which radically differs from the problem presented by our resolution in that our resolution doesn’t begin from the premise that evil (epistemically) exists. Rather, our resolution is concerned with the ontological existence of evil. It should be considered unfair for Con to carry on with this point in any more detail in this closing round as it would mean that, should he have a legitimate argument, I will be unable to answer to it. Though the terms of this debate do not specify that arguments will not be accepted in our final round, I entreat that our spectators recognize the treachery of such an action and consequently exclude it from consideration.

Peroration
So we have arrived at our debate’s denouement. Here I’ll maintain that Pro’s argument, from every facet, has been defended and that Con’s argument, from every facet, has been adequately refuted. My arguments have demonstrated a valid defense for the affirmation of the resolution “the existence of evil suggests that the Judeo-Christian God (God of the Bible) is evil.”

Vote Pro.

Citations

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Aselm’s argument, premise 1.
[3]: “God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order, in every level of causality, every fleeting moment and momentous event of natural history...”(Psalm 8:3, Isaiah 40:12, Nahum 1:3)

[4]: http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
FourTrouble

Con

Fallacy of Composition

Pro states: "to say that God is evil doesn’t refer to some part of God that is evil but to God in his totality." That is the problem. Saying that a part of God is evil does not entail that God is evil in his totality.

Pro argues that God is evil because God created, among many other things, evil. God's creations are parts of God that do not define God in his totality. Pro makes a fallacious leap in logic by defining God as evil in his totality because God creates evil. Think about it: God created elephants. Is God an elephant? God created many things that God, in his totality, is not. When Pro says God is evil because God created evil, Pro's logic operates only through the fallacy of composition.

Nothing more needs to be said at this point, the resolution is negated.

Evil does not exist

Pro quotes a statement I made in R2 out of context. The full statement read: "Pro provides no evidence evil exists. If the Judeo-Christian God exists, it is more logically consistent to conclude that evil does not exist... Even if God created all things and evil exists, it does not follow that God created evil." Pro argues that I admit evil exists in R2 when I did no such thing. I challenged Pro to provide evidence that evil exists, and stated that if God exists, evil does not exist. Likewise, if evil exists, God does not exist.

Readers should take off conduct for Pro's blatant misrepresentation of my argument. Pro claims: "Now he states that he rejected our second premise all along which is demonstrably untrue." Normally, I would refrain from charging someone with intentionally distorting what I argued and assume misunderstanding at best, but in this case, Pro's entire argument rests on concealing what I argued in both R2 and R3.

Pro attempts to argue evil does exist with the following claim: "Should God be omnipresent, this argument fails as there is nowhere where God is not, thus the notion is absurd." But that argument presupposes that God is evil, which is what Pro is trying to show in this debate. Claiming evil exists because God exists and God is evil is circular and question-begging. It begs the very question that this debate asks. For Pro to argue evil exists with this argument, Pro would have had to already show that God is evil. But Pro cannot show God is evil without first showing that evil exists. Argument is circular and empty.
Expression implies Intention

If God allows us to have free will, it is reasonable to believe we will act in ways that God did not intend us to act. This is an example of how God creates things with unintended effects. Not everything expressed by God's creations is intentional.

Expressions are merely representations of an underlying nature or principle

Pro does not really contest my argument. All expression is mediated by language. Language is a self-contained semiotic system that can never refer back to an underlying nature or principle. Pro's argues we understand what is referred to when the word "Tarkovsky" is used, hence language must refer to some underlying nature. Wrong. Our ability to understand language is purely subjective and cannot be proven. When Pro uses the word "Tarkovsky," I have no way of knowing with absolute certainty what it is Pro is referring to. I might think Pro is referring to a cat.

Language, and its particular significantions, cannot point to an underlying nature. This is a fact about linguistic structures and has nothing to do with our practical ability to communicate using language.

Conclusion

I have shown that Pro's argument is fallacious: it depends on the fallacy of composition. I have shown that Pro's argument depends on the existence of evil. Pro does not provide sufficient evidence that evil exists. I explained that what we, as limited human observers, think is evil could actually be morally justified by God. In other words, our perception of evil is deceptive, because what appears to humans as evil is, in actuality, good and morally justified. This conclusion is more logically consistent with God's existence. Pro does not contest it. On these two points alone it is enough to vote Con.

I went further and showed that the other two premises underlying Pro's argument are also false. There are examples of creations and expressions that are unintentional effects. And expressions themselves do not point back to an underlying nature. The reason is because all expression is mediated by a metaphysical structure that is self-contained: language.

I have fully refuted all of Pro's argument. The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by IFLYHIGH 4 years ago
IFLYHIGH
Too bad you decided to do the POE when KRF and Micro was doing it. I simply did not feel like reading over the same argument two times.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
I hope at least one person votes on this before voting period is over...
Posted by tarkovsky 4 years ago
tarkovsky
Sorry for posting a little later than usual, was a bit of a busy day today.
Posted by tarkovsky 4 years ago
tarkovsky
You provided reasons? Like what: "That said, there is good reason to believe (5) is false, in which case Pro's argument is moot anyway. According to the existentialist philosopher Sartre..."

Sounds like recourse to an authority to me, which makes "the issue of who said what" entirely relevant.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
The issue of who said what is irrelevant, I provided reasons why (5) is false. If those reasons are agreed to by other philosophers or not is besides the point. I did not drop or concede anything.
Posted by tarkovsky 4 years ago
tarkovsky
But it is relevant in tat your argument that (5) is evidently false depends on the whether or not we need to accept Heidegger's philosophy of meaning as opposed to, say, Kierkegaard's. Heidegger says one thing, Kierkegaard says another and, until demonstrated, there is no reason to prefer one to the other. Since you chose to address this here your argument that (5) is evidently dropped and you forfeit to concession.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
Choosing to address the issue here had nothing to do with conceding that point. It simply was irrelevant to my argument. Focused arguments are better than those that go on irrelevant tangents.

Heidegger emphasizes multiple times that authenticity and inauthenticity are descriptions of Dasein's ways of being, and authenticity is not to be taken as superior to inauthenticity. In fact, inauthenticity is the everyday mode of being, and much more preferable. Authenticity is tied up with anxiety, death, and guilt.
Posted by tarkovsky 4 years ago
tarkovsky
I do believe choosing to address this matter here, and here alone, seems to concede to my point that handling the arguments in terms of one man's philosophy should not be preferred to handling it in terms of some other person's philosophy, thus leaving no room for refutation, as so long as I can find some other, contradictory philosophy statement, I will have provided a substantial refutation. That said, I'll admit, I had my time with Heidegger. I read a good portion of Being and Time before it was time to put it away and a handful of his published lectures. I'm, by no means, an expert on Heidegger but I do understand that a chief concern of his was how Dasein was to be an 'authentic being' which suggests existentialism. Furthermore, I understood that his ontology was founded on phenomenology, after all, his philosophy starts from a kind of phenomenological definition of human. Nonetheless, I don't feel as comfortable talking about Being and Time and as I do Heidegger's other works, to the extent that I can talk about his other works without talking about Being and Time. Kierkegaard I'm more familiar with, and I assure you that there is no problem. Without getting to lengthy, Kierkegaard explains there are three types of despair, two of which aren't as important here, but the last of which establishes that "the human self is not self-estabished". The despair of wanting to be oneself is for Kierkegaard, the most wicked form of despair but at the same time, brings the self closest to truth in that in order for there to be this despair the self presupposes God or the infinite. Really explaining the despair of wanting to be oneself would be difficult here but a short concise notion might be using the self and its torment as a means to 'defeat' God: "If it should now happen that God...were to offer to help him be rid of this torment - no...he prefers to rage against everything and be the one the world wronged."
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
I had 3000 characters left, but I still chose not to address misunderstanding of Heidegger and Kierkegaard in the debate. It was irrelevant. I will address it here. Heidegger was not an existentialist, and his philosophy is not some mere "brand of existentialism." Heidegger did fundamental ontology, and is more properly understood as a phenomenologist. As for Kierkegaard, I'm almost certain the quote you provide establishes the structure of faith, not meaning. I could be wrong, I haven't read Sickness Unto Death, but I have read Either/Or and Fear and Trembling, and I'm pretty sure that is what he's talking about.
Posted by tarkovsky 4 years ago
tarkovsky
Just to clear up any confusions, acceptance and rejections of arguments means acceptance for consideration and rejection for consideration.
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