The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Galal
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

The problem of Evil/unnecessary suffering

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,527 times Debate No: 43161
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

Illegalcombatant

Pro

The Debate

Although I have titled this debate the problem of evil, more exactly I believe that this should be called the problem of unnecessary suffering.

I will provide argument to justify the claim that it is more plausible that God does not exist with a focus on suffering.

Con will seek to negate my arguments.

Definitions

God - An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent personal being.

Unnecessary suffering - suffering which was not logically necessary for an adequately compensating good.

Rules

No new arguments in the last round

First round is for acceptance only, no arguments.


Galal

Con

I accept your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Galal for accepting the debate.

The argument is as follows.........

1) Either (P1) or (P2)
2) More plausibly NOT (P1)
C) Therefore more plausibly (P2)

(P1) and (P2) are two mutually exclusive possibilities. The two possibilities are describe as follows........

(P1) We live in a world where God and suffering exists. Any and all suffering only happens if and only if God permits it. Also the suffering that God permits only happens if it is logically necessary for an adequate compensating good.

(P2) We live in a world where God does NOT exist but suffering does. The claim that God does exist and only permits suffering if and only if it is logically necessary for an adequate compensating good is a rationalization to reconcile the false belief in the existence of such a God and the existence of suffering.

Occams razor

" Occam's razor (also written as Ockham's razor from William of Ockham (c. 1287 " 1347), and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in logic and problem-solving. It states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected." [1]

Take pretty much any instance of suffering. A child tortured, animals eating each other alive, an earthquake causing bricks to fall on people. Every bone broken, every rib cracked, every person blinded every spine severed can be made compatible with the claim that God allowed these things to happen, as per (P1)

But these things are also compatible with the claim that God does not exist, and God did not prevent these things because he does not exist, as per (P2)

Seeing that both hypotheses explain the absence of such a Gods action equally well Occams razor enjoins us to go with the explanation that makes the fewest assumptions. (P1) makes more assumptions than (P2) therefore (P2)

Moral paralysis of (P1)

If we operate on the assumption that P1 is true it leads to absurdity.

Should we release child rapists from prison ? perhaps informing then we are sorry, we didn't realize that the suffering they caused was a necessary condition to bring about a greater good. A greater good that could only have been achieved by their raping of children.

"Many babies each year are born with Down's syndrome. Most of these babies, with normal paediatric care, will grow up healthy. A significant number, however, have intestinal obstructions that will kill them if they do not receive an operation. Without the operation, dehydration and infection will cause these babies to wither and die over a period of hours and days. Today this operation is relatively simple, but not long ago these babies could not be saved . . . This baby (one born in the past with this) suffers for days, then dies." (3) (Sinnott Armstrong,2004, P84)." [2]

Should we seek to stop any and all medical treatment to children because their suffering is necessary to bring about a greater good ? Of course we won't....................well most of us.

It only makes sense and is more consistent to combat suffering if you work on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist, and thus by seeking to prevent suffering you are not necessarily preventing some greater good.

I look forward to Cons reply

Sources

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

[2] God? Debate between a Christian and an Atheist, William lane Craig and Walter Sinnott Armstrong, 2004, Oxford University Press, p84.
Galal

Con

I would like to thank Pro for this interesting debate, I am looking forward to seeing it through the end. Possibly with a positive out come. But before I proceed I would like to note that my opponent has not introduced his own argument but rather provided me with argument of others and that in itself is a bit confusion because when I joined this debate I was under the impression that I was going to argue against my opponent's thoughts and arguments and not of others? If I am not mistaken half of his argument if not two-third of it is solely based on someone's else argument. And could easily be convicted of plagiarism. Regardless I will point out my own arguments first which oppose the ones he provided. Opponent is arguing the fact that God does not exist because there is suffering in the world. This argument is invalid, or may have a paradox in itself. Allow me to elaborate through the next few points:

1. What if God is Evil?

2. What if God is not interfering?

3. What if God does not exist?

I will not argue all of them at once, in fact I will introduce those arguments within the following rounds. Firstly, I am not impressed by those arguments, not one bit. Because just like those individuals I have my own reasoning to rationalize my own interpretation of the world. They do not provide the absolute truth. The fact that you chose to introduce other people's arguments within such matters suggest that you think of them as more intellectual beings, and in return we must entertain the fact that they might actually be right. No one holds the absolute truth when it comes to such matter. Anyone could rationalize their own thoughts and would still oppose their ideas with ease. Yet I can not deny that those arguments come from a logical prospective, yet I think otherwise.


What if God is Evil?

Even though I do not entertain this theory for personal reasons, it is a thought none the less. If God is truly evil, there would be a valid explanation for the suffering and continuous plagues that roam the earth without divine interference. What if God finds pleasure in watching us suffer somehow, or perhaps this is all for an entertaining course. The point would still be that God does exist and that suffering/pain are not good enough reasons to deny the existence of God.

If you are trying to prove that God does not exist because there is no interference from his end into our human realm, then you will need more than just that to prove your point, I look forward to the next round and hopefully a more promising argument.

Thank you.



Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their reply.

Cons claims Plagiarism

Con says..." If I am not mistaken half of his argument if not two-third of it is solely based on someone's else argument. And could easily be convicted of plagiarism" I have certainty not sought to plagiarize, never the less if I have not given appropriate attribution I am always happy to correct that. But I think we need to be clear here what plagiarism is.

"Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work" [1]

Con strawmans the opening argument

Con says..." Opponent is arguing the fact that God does not exist because there is suffering in the world." & " If you are trying to prove that God does not exist because there is no interference from his end into our human realm..."

Con makes things easier for himself here, by not attacking my argument but by creating a strawman as wikipedia explains..." A straw man, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally,is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having denied a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet inequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and to deny it, without ever having actually denied the original position" [2]

After all even I said..."Take pretty much any instance of suffering. A child tortured, animals eating each other alive, an earthquake causing bricks to fall on people. Every bone broken, every rib cracked, every person blinded every spine severed can be made compatible with the claim that God allowed these things to happen, as per (P1)"

But as I also pointed out..."But these things are also compatible with the claim that God does not exist, and God did not prevent these things because he does not exist, as per (P2)"

Is my argument that suffering in the world proves God does not exist ? no. Rather the conclusion is that (P2) is more PLAUSIBLE than (P1).

The Evil God

Con asks us to consider "evil God" as a possibility.

Remember when I talk about "God" in (P1) and (P2) I am not talking about some vague notion of a higher power. Rather I have defined the "God" I am talking about in a more specific way that being..."God = An omniscient, omnipotent, omni benevolent personal being."

In other words when P1 says...." We live in a world where God and suffering exists....that is the same as saying we live in a world where a An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent personal being and suffering exists.

And conversely when P2 says..." We live in a world where God does NOT exist but suffering does is the same as saying We live in a world where An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent personal being does NOT exist but suffering does.

As such even if we grant Cons "evil God" possibility as the explanation for suffering, that is compatible with (P2) but NOT (P1).

Occams Razor

Con has made no counter to the argument here about how (P1) makes more assumptions that (P2) and thus occams razor enjoins us to go with (P2)

Moral Paralysis

Can has made no counter that it only makes sense and is more consistent to combat suffering if you work on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist, and thus by seeking to prevent suffering you are not necessarily preventing some greater good.

I look forward to Cons reply

Sources

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

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Galal

Con

Galal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I guess I have to type something to avoid forfeiting a round, so..................how is your day going ?
Galal

Con

First of all I would like to apologize for my inconvenience regarding the last round. However I had some issues that had to be taken care of regardless. I am still willing to continue this debate. I see that my opponent has offered us with a respectable counter argument. The only problem is that it does not make much sense. He first denied plagiarism when his entire argument based on one Oscar Razor's, he denies plagiarism even though he keeps quoting the man. Despite the fact that his entire argument is based on someone's else argument he still live in denial. Just because you mention the sources of your information does not give you the right to build an entire argument based on someone Else's words. These are not proof or evidence or any sort they do not enhance your position, you are just defending what someone Else's argument. I will not debate this any longer as it is but sub-text, I will leave it for the audience to decide. And then he accuses me of committing a logical fallacy called the 'Straw man' I think he elaborated the term quite well. The only fact is that I did not commit this fallacy, observe.

" Opponent is arguing the fact that God does not exist because there is suffering in the world." & " If you are trying to prove that God does not exist because there is no interference from his end into our human realm..."

Those were my words, then he used such quotations as;

"Take pretty much any instance of suffering. A child tortured, animals eating each other alive, an earthquake causing bricks to fall on people. Every bone broken, every rib cracked, every person blinded every spine severed can be made compatible with the claim that God allowed these things to happen, as per (P1)"

How is my argument not compatible with his claim? It seems like it addresses the problem quite accurately and thus, there was no fallacy committed from my behalf.

Pro persists that God is an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent personal being. But he does not know that, he can not disprove that God could be evil. However he chooses to build his entire argument upon something that may not be true. If God is evil then it would still be possible for suffering and God to co-exist in the same realm/universe. Pro has no evidence to dismiss my assumption.

What if God is not interfering?

But then again lets take Pros version of God. An omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent personal being. What if that is in fact true, and he is no evil being. Pro argues and says that since there are suffering in the world (P1) therefore God can not exist (P2) What if God chooses to watch us? Just because God does not interfere does not mean he does not exist. And you can not prove that. For all you know, God can be watching us handle our own matter and chooses not to interfere. Perhaps he would like to see how us Humans will survive? Otherwise, why would he have created us if he was going to help us with every trouble we face. If all of this is a test, then there is no reason for our watcher to aid us within this test.

The last point will be discussed in the last round.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
Illegalcombatant

Pro

Con makes false charges of plagiarism

Con cites me using occams razor, which I have referenced. Con makes another charge of plagiarism..." He first denied plagiarism when his entire argument based on one Oscar Razor's, he denies plagiarism even though he keeps quoting the man."

I even expanded on what plagiarism is and thus is not in a previous round, cause I had the suspicion that Con doesn't know what plagiarism is..............his latest comments confirmed that suspicion.

Con Starwmans the argument....AGAIN

In order for something to be "plausible" it isn't necessary to proves its negation or an alternative as a logical impossibility.

Con strawmans the argument AGAIN in round 4 where they say...." Pro argues and says that since there are suffering in the world (P1) therefore God can not exist "

As I said before..." Is my argument that suffering in the world proves God does not exist ? no. Rather the conclusion is that (P2) is more PLAUSIBLE than (P1)."

Cons Evil God

I have defined what I mean when I talk about "God".

Now if Con wants to come up with a logical incompatible definition of "God", Cons so called "evil God" then good for him. Con switching between different definitions of "God" doesn't counter the "God" I am specifically talking about. I already addressed this before....

"And conversely when P2 says..." We live in a world where God does NOT exist but suffering does is the same as saying We live in a world where An omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent personal being does NOT exist but suffering does."

" As such even if we grant Cons "evil God" possibility as the explanation for suffering, that is compatible with (P2) but NOT (P1)."

Occams Razor/What if God is not interfering ?

Consider the following proposition put by Con..." Perhaps he (God) would like to see how us Humans will survive?"

The God I am talking about is omniscient and therefore all ready knows anything about anything about everything. As such it makes no sense to talk about this God taking action in an effort to get more information, such as watching to see how humans will survive or through performing various tests.

Con asks what about the possibility that God does exists and chooses not to interfere. Yes that is possible, a possibility compatible with (P1).

But possibility doesn't establish plausibility as I said before..." Take pretty much any instance of suffering. A child tortured, animals eating each other alive, an earthquake causing bricks to fall on people. Every bone broken, every rib cracked, every person blinded every spine severed can be made compatible with the claim that God allowed these things to happen, as per (P1)

But these things are also compatible with the claim that God does not exist, and God did not prevent these things because he does not exist, as per (P2)"

Seeing that both hypotheses explain the absence of such a Gods action equally well Occams razor enjoins us to go with the explanation that makes the fewest assumptions. (P1) makes more assumptions than (P2) therefore (P2)

Con as not refuted that (P2) is more plausible than (P1) using occams razor.

Moral Paralysis

You will recall that I made an argument that accepting (P1) as true leads to absurdity.

Con never disputed that if God exists the suffering that God permits only happens if it is logically necessary for an adequate compensating good as stated in (P1)

As I put it before..."It only makes sense and is more consistent to combat suffering (eg: medical treatment to children) if you work on the assumption that unnecessary suffering does exist, and thus by seeking to prevent suffering you are not necessarily preventing some greater good."

Closing Summary

1) Con wrongly makes charges of plagiarism against Pro (I suspect because Con doesn't understand what exactly plagiarism is)

2) Con has constantly starwman Pros argument, Con attacks an (imaginary) argument about suffering proving God does not exist rather than the ACTUAL argument about the plausibility of two mutually exclusive possibilities as stated in (P1) & (P2).

3) Cons different type of "Gods", eg "evil God" and the "God who is seeking knowledge" even if granted still don't refute my argument since the God that doesn't exist in (P2) is a very specific kind of God.

4) Con has not refuted (P1) makes more assumptions than (P2) and occams razor enjoins us to go with (P2)

5) Con had no response to the absurdities of accepting (P1) as true and that our actions are more consistent with assuming (P1) as false.

I submit Con has not being able to negate the argument.

I thank Con for the debate.

I ask the vote for Pro.

I would remind Con of the following rule as stated at the start of the debate..."No new arguments in the last round"
Galal

Con

Pro still fails to see my point, he addresses his own arguments and point of views as if they were facts. There is nothing determined or certain when it comes to such topic. You can not apply human logic on such divine entity. The fact that suffering exists in the world does not necessarily mean the absence of God. There is no concrete proof, they are all assumptions and possibility. Con can not prove that suffering dismisses the existence of God. I tried to counter his arguments by proposing other assumptions and possibilities but he still denies any other version of Gods but the one he has in mind. In my opinion, this kind of thinking shackles up our thoughts especially when we address a topic as this. I will not introduce any other arguments as agreed upon but in return I will list my points below:

1. God could co-exist with suffering

2. Suffering could exist with out God and still not be the reason for his existence.

3. An evil version of God, which is compatible with all the suffering in the world.

These were my thoughts in a nutshell, no I have no sources and I will not cite anyone because regarding such there is no one what can be a reliable source of reasoning or logic but my own philosophy. I would like to criticize once more that Pro's entire argument is based upon someone else's idea or philosophy. He denies calling it plagiarism and still persists to accuse me of committing Straw man fallacy even though I believe I have done nothing of that sort. I beg him well in his future debates, and if he in fact loses in this debate. I wish that learns from his mistake.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by The_Serb 3 years ago
The_Serb
.. sometimes, in extreme cases during wartime, doing evil, using torture is the only way to go
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
I have my issues with overusing sources for an argument, and that would have sufficed as a point for Con if he hadn't forfeited a round. It doesn't suffice as a reason to lose the debate, at least not from my perspective.

But I don't need that to make the decision. Pro keeps restating the supposed "straw man" in Con's argument, but only undermines himself in the process. Pro provides two separate and possibilities. As such, Con has three possible ways of winning the round. He can that there's an increased likelihood of P1 being is more plausible, prove P2 is less plausible, or offer an alternative to both that is both plausible and consistent with the existence of a deity. He chooses to focus on the first of those, and he makes them just as plausible as Pro's argument for P1. An evil god or a solely observant god are each a single assumption, just as that god's nonexistence is a single assumption. Therefore, P1 becomes just as plausible as P2.

As Pro has the burden to prove that plausibility is higher that such a god doesn't exist, and as such, that they are not equally plausible, this loses him the debate.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 3 years ago
Illegalcombatant
" Once this is conceded, suffering and God are compatible."

If you think my argument is that suffering and God are incompatible you are wrong. I suggest you re-read the argument again. And understand the ACTUAL argument.
Posted by FluffyCactus 3 years ago
FluffyCactus
Ask any Catholic priest and he will be able to give, I think, a satisfying answer to this. The problem of evil is always used to place the impetus on God, when it should in fact place the impetus on Man. Once this is conceded, suffering and God are compatible.
Posted by Speakerfrthedead 3 years ago
Speakerfrthedead
I would just like to say that I really like this debate. It questions religion and it's contradictions which is very interesting. I'm looking froward to round 2 from the Con.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imsmarterthanyou98 3 years ago
imsmarterthanyou98
IllegalcombatantGalalTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct go to Pro becuse of FF Pro has demonstrated that it's more probable that god doesen't exist.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
IllegalcombatantGalalTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.