The Instigator
wiploc
Pro (for)
Losing
39 Points
The Contender
stubs
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

The Problem of Evil

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 18 votes the winner is...
stubs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,828 times Debate No: 24942
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (50)
Votes (18)

 

wiploc

Pro

Resolved: If evil exists, no existent god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

-

Clarification: This is the logical problem of evil (LPoE), not the evidential version (EPoE). An omnipotent god could effortlessly prevent all evil. An omniscient god would know how to effortlessly prevent all evil. A benevolent god would want as little evil as possible. And omnibenevolent god would strongly, totally, infinitely, purely, unconflictedly want there to be no evil at all.

A tri-omni (omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent) god would want to prevent all evil if he could; and he could; so there would be no evil.

Therefore, if evil exists, tri-omni gods do not exist.

-

Definitions:

Evil: The sources of unhappiness. By extension, we often use the word "evil" to refer to unhappiness itself.

Good: The sources of happiness. By extension, we often use the word "good" to refer to happiness itself.

Sin: Just so that we don't conflate sin with evil: sin is doubt or disobedience of god, with doubt being the greater portion. Thus, Eve first sinned when she entertained the serpent's words, not when she bit the apple. Evil is the punishment for sin. Sin and evil are often conflated because some evils (gluttony, for instance) are moral evils. That is, you can cause unhappiness by doubting or disobeying god.

Benevolence: Wanting good rather than evil.

Omnibenevolence: Totally, purely, strongly, unconflictedly wanting good rather than evil, wanting all good and no evil.

Omnipotence: For the purposes of this debate, we're talking about punk omnipotence, not true omnipotence. True omnipotence would have god able to contradict logic; he could make square circles. But, for a logical debate, we must assume logic is inviolable. Therefore, the omnipotence under discussion is punk omnipotence: the ability to do anything except violate logic.

Omniscience: Knowing everything, including the future. Knew, at the time of creation (per Plantinga) every decision that would ever be made in every possible world and every impossible world. (And, being omnipotent, he had his choice of the infinity of possible worlds. He knew how each one would turn out, and could have chosen to create one of those that had no evil.)

Tri-omni: Omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, as defined above.

Goodworld: A world without unhappiness.

Badworld: A world with unhappiness.

-

Argument:

Plantinga says, and logic agrees, that in some possible worlds, people are happy all the time. An omniscient god would have known which ones those were. An omniscient god would have been able to create one of those goodworlds instead of a badworld. A benevolent god would have preferred the goodworlds. An omnibenevolent god would have totally, strongly, unconflictedly preferred creating the goodworlds.

The fact that god did not create one of the goodworlds is proof that god, if he exists, is not tri-omni.

A tri-omni god would prevent all evil. Therefore, if there is evil, there is no tri-omni god.

-

Relevant Responses:


Con may claim that his god is not really omnipotent, or not really omniscient, or not really omnibenevolent. These are common responses to the PoE, but they do not contradict or refute the PoE. The PoE says that if evil exists, then god is not tri-omni. You cannot refute the PoE by agreeing that god is not tri-omni.

Con may claim that evil doesn't exist. This is not a refutation of the PoE. The PoE says that if a tri-omni god exists, then evil does not exist. You cannot refute the PoE by agreeing that evil does not exist.

Con may claim that his god is not bound by logic and rationality. Set aside the fact that this would be an admission that his religion is illogical and irrational, such a god is not the subject of this debate. You cannot refute the PoE by agreeing that the PoE is logical but god is not.

These the five possible relevant responses to the PoE:

1. God is not really omnipotent.
2. God is not really omniscient.
3. God is not really omnibenevolent.
4. Evil does not really exist.
5. Belief in tri-omni gods is not logical.

None of them refute the PoE. But there are no other relevant responses to the PoE. (Because the PoE has only those five elements.)

Therefore, in my experience, defending against the PoE usually amounts to making one of the above five concessions, and then denying it. For instance, "God doesn't know the future, so he had to guess which world to create. But I still call him "omnipotent" because I like the sound of that word."

Okay, defenders don't usually phrase their arguments that clearly. Plantinga has raised the art of defending against the PoE to the point of near-opacity.

-

Thanks:

Thanks to stubs for asking for this debate. Best wishes stubs. Obviously, I'm prejudiced against PoE defences in general, but I look forward to reading your specific defence with an open mind. I hope you surprise me.

Thanks too to DDO, and any readers, voters, and commenters.

-

Vote Pro:

In the DDO forum, I read some complaints about people who end debate posts by asking for your vote. I'm in the other camp. I like people who say "Vote Pro," or "Vote Con." It helps me keep the players straight in my mind. I sometimes get desperately confused (particularly when Con initiates the debate) and need all the guidance I can get. So, assuming that some of my readers are like me, I will continue to end my posts by saying Vote Pro.

Vote Pro.




stubs

Con

I would first like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as thank wiploc for setting this debate up with me. I don't totally agree with the definitions of evil and good, but I will accept them because I am by no means looking to get into a semantics debate and I don't believe my opponent is either. That being said, I was a little surprised wiploc decided to defend the logical problem of evil. The LPoE says that there is a logical contradiction between evil and the Judeo-Christian God (tri-omni God). That is to say that evil and the Judeo Christian God can not exist together, not just that it is improbable, but that it is actually impossible.

Wiploc assumes (in his argument, not definitions) that (a) a good being eliminates evil insofar as he can and that (b) there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do. But why should the theist accept (a) or (b)? However, the logical argument from evil doesn't properly factor in human freedom or God's underlying reasons or overarching purposes.

In response to (a) it is logically possible that God has morally sufficient reasons (perhaps which God alone knows) for permitting (even horrendous) evils. In response to (b) It is logically possible that God cannot create significantly free creatures who never sin.

I would respectfully ask for a source for what my opponent has said Plantiga says. Usually I have no problem with people not including sources, but I only ask for it this time because I have a source in which Plantiga says, "it is possible that God could not have created a universe containing moral good (or as much moral good as this world contains) without creating one that also contained moral evil. And if so, then it is possible that God has a good reason for creating a world containing evil." [1]

We must distinguish between logically-possible worlds and feasible worlds for God to create. While a sin-free human world is logically/theoretically possible, it may not be feasible for God to create it since it is up to humans to respond to God's grace and love.

Atheist philosopher William Rowe: "Some philosophers have contended that the existence of evil is logically inconsistent with the existence of the theistic God. No one, I think, has succeeded in establishing such an extravagant claim." [2]

William Alston writes, "It is now acknowledged on (almost) all sides that the logical argument is bankrupt." [3]

Wiploc has given five possible responses, but I have used none of them. I showed that my opponent made two faulty assumptions. He has to show that evil and God are logically contradictory. However, if it is even possible that God has morally justifiable reasons for allowing the evil that he does, than that is enough to defeat the logical problem of evil which is what my opponent wants to debate.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing my opponents next argument.

[1] Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 31
[2]William L. Rowe, "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,"American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (October 1979): 41n.
[3] "The Inductive Problem of Evil and the Human Cognitive Condition," Philosophical Perspectives 5 (1991): 29.
Debate Round No. 1
wiploc

Pro

Thanks to stubs, for his civility, clarity, and interest in the topic. He's raised so many issues, I wish we could discuss them all here. Perhaps we could have a follow-up debate on the topic of whether the PoE would still be compelling if we defined both unhappiness and lack-of-free-will as "evil." (Yes, it would still be bulletproof.) Or perhaps, after this debate, we can start a discussion thread on how Plantinga equivocates when he says god could create a badworld with free will, but not a goodworld with free will. I hope we can continue our discussion after this debate.

But we can't range into those topics now. This debate is halfway over. After this post, I get only one more. We must focus on our agreed topic.

My Case:

If god had the will and the power to prevent all evil, there would be no evil.

An omnipotent god (able to do anything except violate logic) could prevent evil if he wanted to. By definition, an omnibenevolent god (totally, strongly, unconflictedly, infinitely opposed to evil) wants to prevent evil. An omniscient god would know how to prevent evil.

A tri-omni god, therefore, would have both the will and the power to prevent evil.

Conclusion:

1. If a tri-omni god existed, there would be no evil.

2. If evil exists, there is no tri-omni god. And,

3. Anyone who believes in both evil and a tri-omni god is wrong.

That's a patently compelling case. Bulletproof. There's no way around it.

The five possible relevant responses to the PoE:

1. God is not really omnipotent.
2. God is not really omniscient.
3. God is not really omnibenevolent.
4. Evil does not really exist.
5. Belief in tri-omni gods is not logical.

Con chose moves 1 and 3.

Move 1: God is not really omnipotent:

Con wrote, "[W]hy should the theist accept" that "... there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do[?]" In other words, he thinks god may not be powerful enough to prevent evil.

But that's my point! I'm pointing out that if an omniscient omnibenevolent god coexists with evil, then that god must not be omnipotent. Con cannot contradict or refute that by saying that god isn't omnipotent. That isn't a refutation; it amounts to a concession that the PoE is correct.

Move 3: God is not really omnibenevolent:

Con wrote: "it is logically possible that God has morally sufficient reasons ... for permitting ... evils."

I don't pretend to know what Con means by "morally sufficient reasons." If god were a moral law giver, anything he wanted would be a moral law, right? If he'd rather play Tetris than prevent evil, that would be a morally sufficient reason.

Con's point seems to be that god may not be omnibenevolent. His desire to prevent evil may be less than strong, pure, infinite, total, and unconflicted. He may have other interests, stronger interests. Preventing evil may be on a back burner.

But it is my point! I'm pointing out that an omnipotent omniscient god who coexists with evil must not be omnibenevolent.

Con cannot contradict or refute that by saying that god isn't omnibenevolent. That isn't a refutation; it amounts to a concession that the PoE is correct.

Move 0: Not one of the five relevant responses.

Con also writes, "In response to (b) It is logically possible that God cannot create significantly free creatures who never sin." That is wrong, which I'll be happy to demonstrate in the follow-up discussion thread. Here, I'll just point out that it's not relevant to this debate. Neither freedom nor sin are part of my case. You cannot refute the PoE by talking about irrelevant issues.

(Remember, evil is the sources of unhappiness, but sin is doubt and disobedience of god. In the bible, evil is the punishment for sin. As I stipulated in my opening post, sin and evil are different concepts.)

Conclusion:

= My Case Is Flawless And Has Not Been Attacked:

I said that if a god had the power and the will to prevent evil, there would not be evil. This is obviously true, and Con didn't challenge it.

I said that if a god were omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then he would have the power and will to prevent evil. This is obviously true, and Con didn't challenge it either.

It follows that if a tri-omni god existed, there would be no evil. This is not only correct, it is unchallenged.

Vote Pro.

= Con's Case Is Off Target:

Con said that if god were not omnipotent, or were not omnibenevolent, then evil could exist. This in no way contradicts or undermines my case.

Con also made an interesting but irrelevant and erroneous point about sin and freedom. Even were it true, it would in no way contradict or undermine the PoE.

Vote Pro.


Notes:

Con's God

Con posited a less-than-omnipotent and less-than-omnibenevolent god. The PoE does not attack or refute Con's god. The PoE has nothing to say about such gods.

My Source:

I wrote, "Plantinga says, and logic agrees, that in some possible worlds, people are happy all the time." Con asked for my source. My source is the same as his source, Plantinga's book, God, Freedom, and Evil. [1] Plantinga's claim that some goodworlds are possible should not be controversial. A possible world is one with no logical contradictions. Any world with no logical contradictions is a possible world. There is no inherent logical contradiction in everybody being happy all the time, so some such worlds are possible. There aren't two sides to this.

Con seems to think that Plantinga contradicts himself by saying that while such goodworlds exist, god may not be able to create such worlds with "moral good" in them. But that is not a contradiction. (Note that Plantinga's "moral good" is not the kind of "good" we are discussing in this debate.)

This may be an interesting topic for the follow-up discussion thread.

Sin Free Worlds:

Con wrote that sin-free worlds are logically possible. Of course they are. Sinless worlds include possible worlds in which gods declare that the only sin is drawing square circles. Godless worlds (this one, for instance) are also sinless.

But the possibility of sinless worlds does not undermine the PoE. The PoE has to do with evil, not sin.

Arguments From Authority:

Con quotes William Rowe as saying that he thinks nobody has proven that evil is inconsistent with "the existence of the theistic God."

Of course the PoE cannot refute all theistic gods. Many are compatible with evil. It refutes only tri-omni gods who coexist with evil.

In any case, the argument from authority is a fallacy when it is put up against a logical argument. "Therefore, Socrates is mortal? That's not what my old man says!"

Con quotes William Alston saying that almost everybody says the LPoE is bankrupt. If it is bankrupt, Con ought to be able to point out what is wrong with it. When the Wright brothers demonstrated a flying machine, it did no good to quote authorities saying that such machines can't fly. Neither does it suffice to quote an authority against a demonstrated bulletproof version of the LPoE.

If Con wants to claim that a god with both the will and the power to prevent evil wouldn't do so, let him field an argument to that effect. Let him not commit the fallacy of argument from authority by quoting vague and unexplained opinions of people who cannot defend or explain themselves here.

If god had the will to prevent evil, then he would do so if he could. If he had that will, and if he also had the power and knowledge to enforce that will, then there would be no evil.

An omnipotent god would have the power, by definition. An omnibenevolent god would have the will, by definition. There is no possible world in which a tri-omni god coexists with evil.

stubs

Con

Sorry I did not believe I brought up "so many issues" as I used even less than half of the character count. I will try to keep my arguments to the point.

Pro has made one fatal flaw in his last argument. He said, "Here, I'll just point out that it's not relevant to this debate. Neither freedom nor sin are part of my case. You cannot refute the PoE by talking about irrelevant issues."

This is why the LPoE fails. It does not take into account free will which easily takes care of the LPoE. Free will may be the most relevant issue to the topic.

"If god had the will and the power to prevent all evil, there would be no evil."

This clearly does not account for free will which was the biggest part of my first round post.

Pro has completly misrepresented me when he said that I said God is not omnipotent or omnibenevolent. I asked, "Why should a theist accept the fact that there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do?" Pro then goes on to say that I am claiming God is not really omnipotent. However what I said compeletly lines up with his definition given in round 1 for omnipotence. Let's look back at his definition, "For the purposes of this debate, we're talking about punk omnipotence, not true omnipotence. True omnipotence would have god able to contradict logic; he could make square circles. But, for a logical debate, we must assume logic is inviolable. Therefore, the omnipotence under discussion is punk omnipotence: the ability to do anything except violate logic." What I said is completely in agreement with this definition. Like Plantiga has said, we don't know if there is another world in which there are completely free creatures that contains more moral good than this world. This is easy to understand because free will is what gets in the way of a perfect world. It is not up to God to decide if we do good or bad with our free will. That is why it is called free will. Asking God to make free creatures who only choose good is an absurdity. For then that would not be free will. It would be a contradiction. Which is why we have defined omnipotence in such a way for this debate that God cannot do the logically impossible. I have never claimed, nor will ever claim that God is not omnipotent and I'm not sure why pro so strongly suggest this.

Furthermore, pro somehow gets the idea that when I said, "It is logically possible that God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evils" that somehow implies I think God is not omnibenevolent. The morally sufficient reason could very well be free will which was again my biggest argument in round one and was totally ignored by pro. Look at what C.S Lewis says, "God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they've got to be free.
Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (...) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying."[1]

In order for Pros argument to stand he has to show that free will is not valuable enough to exist over a world with creatures with no free will and no evil.

Conclusion:

The LPoE is really not a strong argument at all as I have pointed out in both of my arguments. The biggest part of my argument in round one was free will and all pro had to say about it was that it is irrelevant to the debate. For anyone who has actually studied the Problem of Evil, we know that free will is the most crucial aspect of both the Logical Problem of Evil and the Evidential Problem of Evil. Until pro can show that (a) free will actually is irrelevant (Which is actually impossible because it accounts for evil) or (b) God does not have morally sufficient reasons for allowing evil (Which again is impossible due to our epistemological limitations) my argument still stands.

[1] C.S Lewis, "The Case For Christianity"
Debate Round No. 2
wiploc

Pro


Apology:


I apologize for misrepresenting Con. One gambles when stating another's case. But doing so brings clarity; it gives the other party opportunity to correct the mistake.


Moral Good?


Con says Plantinga says god might not be able to make a world with more "moral good" in it than this one. I don't know what that argument is about. I don't know what Plantinga and Con mean by "moral good." Con has declined to explain, even though I invited him to. So Con has not actually articulated an argument here. I have no chance to refute what he has not explained.


In any case, if god had the will and the power to prevent evil, there would be no evil. What this has to do with whatever Con means by "moral goodness" remains a mystery.


Free Will:


Con says "free will is what gets in the way of a perfect world. It is not up to God to decide if we do good or bad with our free will."


But there are possible worlds in which we have free will and are perfectly happy. They don't involve logical contradictions, so they are possible worlds. They are not impossible, so they are possible. They are obviously possible, and Plantinga clearly states that they are possible. [1]


An omniscient god would have known about these goodworlds. Plantinga states that god knew, at the time of creation, every decision that would ever be made in every possible and impossible world. He knows everything, including the future. [1]


An omnipotent god would have been able to create one of the free-willed goodworlds instead of this world where people suffer. An omnibenevolent god (totally against evil) would have selected one of those worlds to create.


So free will isn't really a problem. It is perfectly compatible with absence of evil.


Plantinga deals with this by equivocating on the meaning of "free will." If god created a goodworld, Plantinga simply doesn't count that world as having free will. But if god created a badworld, Plantinga says those people do have free will. He dances back and forth between two definitions of free will, and hopes we won't notice.


Con isn't guilty of that equivocation. He just says free will is a problem, without really explaining why. And now, because this is my last post, if he gives an explanation, I won't be able to respond to it. I ask voters to keep this in mind.


In any case, Con accepted the definitions in my opening post. According to those definitions, a god isn't omnibenevolent if he is more interested in free will than in preventing evil.


An omnipotent god wouldn't have to choose anyway. If he had to choose, he wouldn't be omnipotent. An omnipotent god can do anything that doesn't involve logical contradiction, and there is no logical contradiction involved in creating one of the infinity of worlds in which we have free will and don't do evil.


And an omniscient god would know which worlds could be created to avoid all evil while still having free will.


So it is implicit in Con's argument, even if he denies it, that the god he describes as able-to-coexist with evil is isn't is lacking in one of the omnis. He isn't omnipotent or isn't omniscient or isn't omnibenevolent.


Con has done nothing to refute the case I made in my opening post.


Con wrote: "Asking God to make free creatures who only choose good is an absurdity. For then that would not be free will. It would be a contradiction." On the contrary, if we had to choose evil, then we wouldn't have free will. It is only because we don't have to choose evil that we can be said to have free will. And in some possible worlds, we do not choose evil.


Omnibenevolence:


Con writes: "pro somehow gets the idea that when I said, "It is logically possible that God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting evils" that somehow implies I think God is not omnibenevolent."


I defined "omnibenevolent" in my opening post. Con didn't object to that definition. He agreed to this debate using that definition.


For the purpose of this debate, "omnibenevolent" means totally, purely, infinitely, strongly, and unconflictedly opposed to evil. It does not mean "totally, purely, infinitely, strongly, and unconflictedly opposed to evil unless he happens to have a "morally sufficient reason" for not opposing evil."


Therefore, a god that wants something else (like free will) more than it wants to prevent evil is not omnibenevolent, by definition.


Con quotes C. S. Lewis to the effect that if we were good we would be automata. That makes no sense. If god forced us to be good, then we wouldn't have free will, but if god chose to create one of the infinity of worlds in which we freely choose the good, that wouldn't make us automata.


Con writes: "Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk." Con posits risk, that god was creating blindly, without knowing how the world would turn out. This is move #2 (God is not really omniscient). It's true that a non-omniscient god might coexist with evil, just as a non-omnipotent or non-omnibenevolent god might. But no tri-omni god would tolerate evil.


Con suggests that evil may be a reasonable price to pay for free will. But an omnipotent god could have both. There is no inherent contradiction between free will and the absence of evil. Therefore, an omnipotent (able to do anything except violate logic) god could do both.


(The only thing that logically conflicts with having no evil is having some evil. Even omnipotent gods can't have both evil and no evil. But they can have anything else and no evil.)


Con writes: "In order for Pros (sic) argument to stand he has to show that free will is not valuable enough to exist over a world with creatures with no free will and no evil." But, no. If a god chose free will over evil, that god would not be totally and unconflictedly against evil. He would not be omnibenevolent, as we are using that word in this debate.


In addition, if he found that he couldn't give us free will without giving us evil, he wouldn't be omnipotent. Omnipotence is the power to do anything that doesn't involve contradiction. There is no contradiction in free-willed people always choosing good. If they couldn't always choose good, if they had to choose evil, then they wouldn't have free will.


An omnipotent god would know in which possible worlds we have free will and always choose good. An omnipotent god could have chosen to create one of those free-willed goodworlds. An omnibenevolent god would have done so.


If a tri-omni god existed, evil would not exist.


Thanks:


Thanks to Con for this debate, and I hope to continue the discussion elsewhere. And thanks to DDO, and any readers and voters.


Conclusion:


Nothing Con said has undermined my case.


If a god were tri-omni (as defined in my opening post) he would have the will and the power to prevent evil. If he had the will and the power to prevent evil, he would do so. Therefore, if a tri-omni god existed, there would be no evil.


Con's main point is that some gods would prefer free will to preventing evil. But those gods are not tri-omni (as defined in my opening post). They aren't omnibenevolent because they put something else ahead of preventing evil, and they are not omnipotent because they can't have free will without evil.


Vote Con.


---


[1] Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil.


stubs

Con

Thanks to pro for his post. Not sure why you are accusing me of not explaining what moral good was. You defined good as the source of happiness. I was only using the definition you provided.

"But there are possible worlds in which we have free will and are perfectly happy. They don't involve logical contradictions, so they are possible worlds. They are not impossible, so they are possible. They are obviously possible, and Plantinga clearly states that they are possible."

I apologize if I have not explained this well in my previous rounds, but it if we are getting into modal logic we need to distinguish between logical possible/theoretical worlds, and feasible worlds. It is up to humans, not God, to choose if we do good or bad. God gave us free will which gives us the opportunity to do good or evil. We as humans, not God, chose to do what is wrong and cause evil in the world.

"So free will isn't really a problem. It is perfectly compatible with absence of evil."

It is compatible with the absence of evil, if and only if, the beings with free will always choose good. However, from actions in other lives as well as our own, we know that we do not always choose good. That is why there is evil.

"He just says free will is a problem, without really explaining why."

Pretty much everything I've said in this debate revolves around the idea of free will. I only brought up two contentions. (One being free will, and the other being God having morally justifiable reasons for permitting evil.) Therefore, I do not understand why you believe I have not explained it. I used nearly all the char actor space I used explaining it.

"On the contrary, if we had to choose evil, then we wouldn't have free will. It is only because we don't have to choose evil that we can be said to have free will."

This totally lines up with what I have been saying. Thank you for agreeing with me. We do not have to choose evil. We can choose evil or good. The fact that we choose to do what is wrong, brings evil into the world.

"For the purpose of this debate, "omnibenevolent" means totally, purely, infinitely, strongly, and unconflictedly opposed to evil. It does not mean 'totally, purely, infinitely, strongly, and unconflictedly opposed to evil unless he happens to have a "morally sufficient reason" for not opposing evil.'"

A being can be total opposed to evil and have morally sufficient reasons for allowing it. Pro made the claim that they are incompatible together, but he did not have an explanation as to why this is. Since he made the claim on that statement he is burden with giving an explanation but he has not.

"Con suggests that evil may be a reasonable price to pay for free will. But an omnipotent god could have both."

Again, there could be both, if humans chose to always do what was right, but we didn't.

Conclusion:

Wiploc assumes that (a) a good being eliminates evil insofar as he can and that (b) there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do. But why should the theist accept (a) or (b)? However, the logical argument from evil doesn't properly factor in human freedom or God's underlying reasons or overarching purposes.

Assumption #1: "A good being eliminates evil insofar as he can."
Answer: It is logically possible that God has morally sufficient reasons (perhaps which God alone knows) for permitting (even horrendous) evils.
Assumption #2: "There are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do"
Answer: It is logically possible that God cannot create significantly free creatures who never sin.

In response to the logical problem ("God and evil can't logically co-exist"), we can say that if God has a morally justifiable reason for permitting the evils that he does, then this rebuts the logical problem of evil.

Also, though we don't know all God's reasons for permitting evil (and there's no reason to think we should), this doesn't show that such reasons don't exist. We're not in a good position to determine whether certain evils have no higher purpose. We would actually have to be all knowing in order to know that evils have no higher purpose. If Wiploc would like to claim that he is all knowing and therefore knows there is no way evils could have a higher purpose then I would love for him to leave a comment and maybe we could debate that (:

Thanks to all the readers and voters. Have a great day.
Debate Round No. 3
50 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by cilla_98 3 years ago
cilla_98
Evil came into existence when Satan (Lucifer at the time) exercised his free-will. God could have prevented that. Satan did not force Adam and Eve into sinning, but merely suggested the sin which caused the two humans to exercise their free-will. God could have kept that from happening as well. However, He wanted us to be able to have free-will. He wants us to love Him genuinely. Imagine if we had no free-will. We would be like (and I know this analogy has been used to death) little wind-up toys that walk around and speak. God would wind us up, and we would move around saying "I love you, I love you." Now, He didn't want that, since He wants to be truly loved, not force us into loving Him. So, yes, God has the power to abolish sin, but because He loves u all so much and He wants us to have a choice on whether we want to love Him or not, he lets us have our free-will in the matter. The question is whether we will choose to love Him. Checkmate.
Posted by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Nikamljmot wrote:
: If a [tri-omn] God does not prevent all evil even if he wanted to and could

If he wanted to and could, then there wouldn't be any evil.

: does not disprove Gods omniscience.

It doesn't disprove his omniscience specifically. It could be that the god doesn't exist. Or it could be that the god lacks either omnipotence or omnibenevolence.

: It only proves what the author stated, that he chooses not to prevent all evil which raises the question of why? Why? Because if God prevented all evil man would not be a free-willed creature. If man was not free willed he would not love God but simply be an obedient but unloving creature.

You are suggesting that god isn't powerful enough to accomplish both free will and goodness. That is to say, you are suggesting that god isn't omnipotent.

You are correct that god's failing may be in power rather than benevolence.

All we know for sure is that---if evil exists---there are no gods with omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence.
Posted by Nikamljmot 3 years ago
Nikamljmot
If a tri-omniscient God does not prevent all evil even if he wanted to and could does not disprove Gods omniscience. It only proves what the author stated, that he chooses not to prevent all evil which raises the question of why? Why? Because if God prevented all evil man would not be a free-willed creature. If man was not free willed he would not love God but simply be an obedient but unloving creature.
Posted by Gandalf_Stormcrow 4 years ago
Gandalf_Stormcrow
The "omniscience" of God? Yeah, right!
Please see the following:
http://gandalfstormcrow.wordpress.com...
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Carlos wrote:
: "Evil: The sources of unhappiness. By extension, we often use the word "evil" to refer to unhappiness itself.
:
: Good: The sources of happiness. By extension, we often use the word "good" to refer to happiness itself."
:
: I'm not sure this means what it seems to mean, wiploc, but it's a pretty dubious claim for anyone who has studied moral
: philosophy to equate good and evil with happiness and unhappiness.

I don't know how a definition can be dubious. Definitions aren't even claims.

I learned this definition in a Western Civ class. It was a big relief to me, because, until then, I hadn't known of any definition for the word "evil," even though it is a commonly used word. Maybe moral philosophers use the word differently than historians? I don't know. The problem of evil is often called the problem of suffering, so, in discussion of theology, the word is often used the way I use it.

Of course, the problem of evil doesn't depend on my definition. You can substitute any other definition, sensible or non-sensible, and the PoE is still bulletproof. But I like to offer a concrete meaning to help people digest the concepts.

: That's a philosophical claim that requires rigorous justification

I can't imagine what you're talking about. If you wanted to talk about something (say the leather around your feet) and you offered a convenient word for that something (say, "shoe") how would that need "rigorous justification"?

: (though maybe you only meant to say that people often (evidently most of whom have not studied moral philosophy) use this terminology in this manner.

In fact they do, but that's hardly the point.

: Perhaps I did not interpret your statement the way you intended to?

At this point, it would be polite for you to broach your topic, tell us what you're talking about. What do moral philosophers mean by the word "evil," and what would a justification of that "claim" look like?
Posted by CarlosMarti123 4 years ago
CarlosMarti123
"Evil: The sources of unhappiness. By extension, we often use the word "evil" to refer to unhappiness itself.

Good: The sources of happiness. By extension, we often use the word "good" to refer to happiness itself."

I'm not sure this means what it seems to mean, wiploc, but it's a pretty dubious claim for anyone who has studied moral philosophy to equate good and evil with happiness and unhappiness. That's a philosophical claim that requires rigorous justification (though maybe you only meant to say that people often (evidently most of whom have not studied moral philosophy) use this terminology in this manner. Perhaps I did not interpret your statement the way you intended to?
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
You've established no such thing. How about you look down about 5 posts or so for your answer.
Posted by GenesisCreation 4 years ago
GenesisCreation
We've established that you needed to be countered. Explain again why I deserved to be countered.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
@ GC

If I deserved to be countered, so did you, which means countering me is the same as vb-ing.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
neutral wrote:
: Interesting, but God does not claim to be omnibenevolent.

I'm certainly not arguing that god is omnibenevolent. Some theists believe that god is omipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, when in fact (if evil exists) he cannot be all three.

The PoE proves that he cannot be all three.

You should only argue against the PoE if you believe god is all three. Otherwise, you are agreeing with the PoE.

: He does claim to be all knowing and all powerful, but he also claims he'll allow you the consequences of
: what you choose ... and all pwerful being can do that you know.
:
: Or do atheists prefer slavery?

No, we like freedom. We aren't arguing for slavery. We're just pointing out what you already know: If god is omnipotent and omniscient, he isn't also omnibenevolent.
18 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by GenesisCreation 4 years ago
GenesisCreation
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Neonix 4 years ago
Neonix
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter RyuuKyuzo. GC, you can drop your partial. I got it.
Vote Placed by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: It came down to whether our free will necessitates evil in the world. Pro argued that God would know whether evil would occur, so he could have created a world in which evil did not occur and humans had free will. Args to to Pro. Everything else tied.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for organizing his arguments with titles, etc. Arguments to Pro for successfully defending his position. Sources to Pro for the Plantinga sourcing.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: In response for WallstreetAtheist VB. I only give 2 points because Pro did a good debate and deserves fairness but as well so did Con.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter VB
Vote Placed by Paradox_7 4 years ago
Paradox_7
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Biatch..
Vote Placed by ScarletGhost4396 4 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: The logic of the PRO was pretty flawless, and despite the CON's several arguments against the PRO, the PRO was generally able to get around them.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: CON used more sources, but PRO used sourcing better. Case in point being the Plantinga sourcing.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Acvara whose reason for voting was, "Con made a logical argument for God allowing evil by free will which Pro didn't really refute." He could have easily said, "I didn't read the debate, I'm just voting for a Christian dude because lying for Jesus is good."