The Instigator
toolpot462
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
ishallannoyyo
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

There is no benevolent God.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
ishallannoyyo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,693 times Debate No: 28567
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (5)

 

toolpot462

Pro

My resolution is simple enough: if God exists, He isn't benevolent.
God will be defined as the all-powerful creator of the universe.

The problem of evil will be central to my argument.

Epicurious' Riddle:

"
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
"


The argument is simple and compelling. Since evil exists and God is benevolent, He must not be all-powerful, and therefore is not God.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for his comments. We will be assuming that God exists as stated in the resolution, so debating on whether or not he exists is off topic and wasteful. All I need show is how the PE (Problem of Evil) is insufficient refutation to the existence of a benevolent god as god is described as all powerful and morally perfect, thus PRO has the BOP and needs to show why he isn’t while I merely have the BOD.

REFUTATIONS:

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

This is the logical fallacy. We see that there are many arguments against the PE, the most notable being Platinga’s Defence. Platinga’s defence essentially states that God does not eradicate evil because he desires to give us free will. If he was to create us all knowing and always doing what is “morally right,” then we would clearly not have free will, something God doesn’t desire. People choosing the right moral path on their own is infinitely more valuable than someone who is created on that path. God created people with the ability to choose evil or good and some people unfortunately chose evil. These people are exercising the freedom God gave them. [1] If God was to take this freedom away, we would lose free will. This clearly demonstrates how God can be all powerful, all knowing, and morally perfect while still giving us free will and allowing evil to occur.

The resolution is negated, VOTE CON.

SOURCES:
http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_free_will_defense
Debate Round No. 1
toolpot462

Pro

Whether God gives us free will is debateable. If God created us knowing full well what each and every one of us would become, how do we really have free will?

Even if we could have free will with an all-powerful God, the argument of free will does not negate the resolution. If God desired us to have free will, fine. But this does not explain why he allows evil to exist; if he were truly benevolent and all powerful, he would intervene against the evil acts of man. He would make his will clearly understood by all. He would descend from the heavens and explain to us all how to live in peace and prosperity together. He does none of these things.

This does not even touch upon the evil that cannot be traced to free will. Why does an all-powerful benevolent God allow natural disasters, deadly accidents, famine and disease to ravage his supposedly beloved creation? If he does not want to prevent such things, he is either malevolent or ambivalent, but certainly not benevolent. If he is unable to prevent such things, than he is clearly not all-powerful.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for his comments.


If God created us knowing full well what each and every one of us would become, how do we really have free will?


The fact that God knows what will happen doesn’t disprove free will, we still choose what to do, God just knows what our choice will be. We are still making that choice, that choice isn’t “predetermined” for us, though knowledge of the choice is.


the argument of free will does not negate the resolution. If God desired us to have free will, fine. But this does not explain why he allows evil to exist; if he were truly benevolent and all powerful, he would intervene against the evil acts of man.


If God was to intervene in the evil acts of man, we wouldn’t have free will. Free will completely negates the resolution because it shows how God wants us to choose to be good by our own will and allow us to make our own moral decisions. If God was to intervene, then he would be putting us on the path of righteousness and not let us find it ourselves. God could fully well eliminate evil, but he chooses not to as to give us free will.


He could descend from the heavens and explain to us all how to live in peace and prosperity together.


Once again, what is better? Having man learn himself how to live in peace and prosperity? Or creating man and teaching him what exactly peace and prosperity is? Clearly option A is the better way of learning, which is why God doesn’t do this. It is for the benefit of mankind.


This does not even touch upon the evil that cannot be traced to free will. Why does an all-powerful benevolent God allow disasters, deadly accidents, famine and disease to ravage his supposedly beloved creation?


Because God is omniscient, and since none of us are, we will not know what will happen. God does though. Everything that does occur naturally is part of a larger plan. I’ll make it clear right now though that this “larger plan” does not refute free will as I am talking about natural disasters and events. For example, had WW2 never occurred, we might not have penicillin and far more people would’ve had died than how many died in WW2. This is a clear example of how we don’t know what the outcomes will be, but God does. He knows what will happen, and he allows them to happen as to give us free will, to test us, AND because he knows that in the end, something good will occur from a potential tragedy.



All of my opponent’s points have been refuted, he has not adequately refuted my points, all of my points still stand, my opponent has used no sources, it is a clear and easy vote CON.

Debate Round No. 2
toolpot462

Pro

I'll politely request that you stop saying "vote Con" in your argument. It's redundant, as obviously you want people to vote Con.

Also, sources aren't crucial in this debate. Clearly this is more about logic and common sense. I don't need a source to assert that natural disasters are an evil.

Con failed to refute my resolution. He merely claims that it is refuted.

Free Will

"The fact that God knows what will happen doesn"t disprove free will, we still choose what to do, God just knows what our choice will be. We are still making that choice, that choice isn"t "predetermined" for us, though knowledge of the choice is."

God created the universe. He would know, at the very moment of creation, what we would do. He could even change the outcome by manipulationg the starting point. If our will matches up with God's intended outcome, then it is not free.

"If God was to intervene in the evil acts of man, we wouldn"t have free will."

That's not true at all. I can intervene in a robbery, this doesn't mean I'm taking away the robber's free will to try and rob someone. I would only be helping his victims. An all powerful, benevolent God has no reason to allow such grotesque acts as murder and rape to follow through. If He can't save people from other people, He is not all powerful. If He can, but chooses not to, He is not benevolent.

"Once again, what is better? Having man learn himself how to live in peace and prosperity? Or creating man and teaching him what exactly peace and prosperity is? Clearly option A is the better way of learning, which is why God doesn"t do this. It is for the benefit of mankind."

Oh, is it clear? Really? This contention that God would have us fend for ourselves in no way refutes His lack of benevolence. We are on the brink of destroying ourselves. If that happens, what then? A benevolent God has no reason to have us work on our own, without any guidance from him whatsoever, or even any clear sign that He exists. You have not explained in any way why an all powerful, benevolent God would leave us to kill each other.

God's Test

Con has brought up two other major arguments as far as I can see. The strongest is the God's test argument, and it is still very weak. God has no reason to test His creation if He knows what the outcome of the test is from the beginning. If He needs to test us, He is not all powerful. If He simply wants to test us, He is not benevolent, as His test is clearly laden with evil.

Furthermore, clearly God's test, if it can so be called, is not fair. Some people are born with self-destructive tendencies. Some people are born into poverty. Some people live to 80, others die at age 5. Some people are born rich. Some are born mentally ill.

God's Plan

The other argument is the "larger plan" argument. First of all, I find it amusing that Con thinks that WW2 was in any way a positive thing. There is no reason to think that we wouldn't have invented penicillin without WW2. Second of all, this is a cop out. Con is simply asserting that God is beyond our understanding, and therefore somehow immune to such labels as malevolent or ambivalent, even though it's clear He exhibits such behavior.

My resolution stands to reason, and has not been refuted as Con claims. Con's argument of free will falls flat. His contention that God would see us fend for ourselves is flawed. He has failed to explain God's absense and natural disasters, as his test argument is so weak it can be refuted in one sentence. His "larger plan" argument is unfalsifiable, and therefore invalid. Your move, Con.
ishallannoyyo

Con

I thank my opponent for his comments. Apologizes for annoying you, that’s just what I observed when I first joined DDO, now on to the rebuttals.


God created the universe. He would know, at the very moment of creation, what we would do. He could even change the outcome by manipulating the starting point.


God did create the universe and he did have knowledge of what would happen, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have free will as I’ve addressed before. God has knowledge of what will happen, but he doesn’t interfere, to make sure something happens “smoothly.” What I have meant by this point is that God doesn’t create us good. He created us with the capacity to be good or evil. He knows what we will choose, but he would much rather have us CHOOSE to be good, and not be created good.


I can intervene in a robbery, this doesn’t mean I’m taking away the robber’s free will to try and rob someone.


This is completely off the point I’m trying to make.


An all powerful, benevolent God has no reason to allow such grotesque acts as murder


I have already explained this. God allows these things to happen because IF he was to create us all PERFECTLY MORAL, IF he was to intervene, it would not have the same meaning if we were all to CHOOSE to be perfectly moral. God wishes to benefit us, and he does this through allowing these acts to occur as to allow us to choose to be good or evil.


This contention that God would have us fend for ourselves in no way refutes His lack of benevolence.


God letting us fend for ourselves IS an act of benevolence as I have shown before.


A benevolent God has no reason to have us work on our own, without any guidance from him whatsoever


But we have already received guidance from him through the preaching’s of prophets such as Jesus and the Bible. What more guidance do we need? God has given us a little nudge towards the path, we need to find it ourselves, and only then can we be truly happy and morally perfect.


You have not explained in any way why an all powerful, benevolent God would leave us to kill each other.


I have explained this multiple times.


God has no reason to test His creation if He knows what the outcome of the test is from the beginning.


This is clearly false; God has tested for the betterment of ourselves, to allow us to grow, to allow us to deal with adversity.


Furthermore, clearly God’s test, if it can be so called, is not fair. Some people are born with self-destructive tendencies.


Does that mean they can’t handle adversity? What about Stephen Hawkings? Is he not successful even though he is disabled?


First of all, I find it amusing that Con thinks that WW2 was in any way a positive thing.


I find it amusing that my opponent finds the opposite. Had we not had WW2, would we know about the catastrophes of nuclear weapons? Would we have a ban on nuclear weapons? It is ridiculous to say nothing positive came out of something terrible.


Second of all, this is a cop out. Con is simply asserting that God is beyond our understanding and therefore somehow immune to such labels as malevolent or ambivalent


So, if a man was about to be hit by a car, and I purposely didn’t push him out of the way because he was going to start WW3 in the future, I am malevolent? My opponent is just side-stepping my point.


CONCLUSION


I have addressed both natural and moral evil through Platinga’s argument and God’s plan. My opponent hasn’t refuted these arguments and his refutations have been weak. Back to Pro.


Debate Round No. 3
toolpot462

Pro

"But we have already received guidance from him through the preaching"s of prophets such as Jesus and the Bible."

If your God is of the Bible, then it would be so much easier for me to explain how He is malevolent. He personally killed and ordered the deaths of millions of people. [http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com...] That's all I need. You can't explain this away by saying that God is above morality, and can kill as many people as he wants without being malevolent.

Con contradicted himself.

"God letting us fend for ourselves IS an act of benevolence as I have shown before."

Con first argues that God letting us be is an act of benevolence. Then he argues that we have received God's help through Jesus and the Bible, which Con clearly thinks is an act of benevolence. You've cherry-picked two contradictory arguments. If God can intervene for ancient civilizations, why can't He intervene now?

There's a reason people lose faith when terrible things happen - God has abandoned them. As a benevolent parent doesn't abandon his children, a benevolent God wouldn't abandon his creation. Ergo: God is not benevolent. God has absolutely no reason whatsoever to not make himself known in the world, and you have provided none. You're saying that letting a plane crash and kill people is benevolent. You're saying that allowing a mindless genocide to persist is benevolent. In fact, you're saying that allowing absolutely all evil in the world is somehow benevolent. Just because.. well, God.

So far, I have shown how God could qualify as benevolent at the very least, and God simply doesn't. I feel the rest of my argument in the previous rounds still stands, and I believe this is my closer.

Good luck, Con.
ishallannoyyo

Con

Well this has been a great debate, thank you Pro!

If your God is of the Bible, then it would be so much easier for me to explain how He is malevolent. He personally killed and ordered the deaths of millions of people.

First of all, the source provided has removed snippets from the bible and put them together in a way that sounds like a coherent quote as you can see from the “...”, secondly, God did not kill people simply because it was fun and he desired too, the definition of malevolence. We see that all of those events occurred because they had to. My opponent has not refuted the point being that God is omniscient, and thus he knows what will happen, which is why he didn’t intervene or do what he did. Let’s look at my example from the last round: if I kill someone who is going to cause WW3, am I malevolent? My opponent has not answered this question. God killed these people because he had to as to benefit us in the future, not because he was malevolent, but because he was kind.

Con first argues that God letting us be is an act of benevolence. Then he argues that we have received God’s help through Jesus and the Bible, which Con clearly thinks is an act of benevolence. You’ve cherry-picked two contradictory arguments. If God can intervene for ancient civilizations, why can’t He intervene now?

First of all, ancient times are exactly that: ancient times. When we first began, God needed to tell us that we should find the path of righteousness and good. Everything in motion has a mover, God gave us the first nudge (as I have already stated), and the rest is up to us. He helped us in the beginning, now we need to help ourselves.

You’re saying that letting a plane crash and kill people is benevolent.

That is exactly what I’m saying. My opponent is caught up in the present and he is not looking to the future. God is. What if someone on that plane the very next day was planning on shooting people? What if the murdered person was going to create new bombs more powerful than the A-bomb? Furthermore, this point has already been refuted by Platinga’s argument, that argument being that we have free will. God will not stop evil as that will crush our free will, he will allow us to CHOOSE goodness.

CONCLUSION

It’s surprising how many points and arguments my opponent has COMPLETLEY dropped e.g. my question that if I killed someone who was going to kill many people in the future, am I malevolent? My opponent has not refuted anything I have brought forth and has instead reverted back to comments that I have already refuted and claims to have found “contradictions.” I have brought forth Platinga’s argument, refuting moral evil which my opponent has not responded to. I have brought forth God’s plan, refuting natural evil, which my opponent has also not responded to. It is clear that the resolution is negated. Thank you Pro for an excellent debate, Vote CON.

Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
ishallannoyyo
Great debate Pro :)
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
DevientGenie 8:22--Believers in a god do good for the sake of getting a reward and avoiding punishment after death, non believers in Bronze Aged fiction, do good becasue theyre nice :)

EVOLUTION 10:15--Humans are cousins to every creature on this planet, that means all creatures on earth share a common ancester. This is NOT science fiction, or pseudo science in anyway, this is a proven fact, as true in science as any truth we know :)

CaptainObvious 29:10--Blasphemy is a made up explanation for angry people who are insecure in their faith :)
Posted by toolpot462 4 years ago
toolpot462
Whup, I'm out of date... well, congratulations Con.
Posted by toolpot462 4 years ago
toolpot462
Deviant, would you care to vote on this debate instead of posting your two cents and leaving?
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
THOUGHTS 5:19--Was standing up and publicly speaking out against lynchings and other cruel treatment of African Americans or other races during the early 20th century, was that as taboo as standing up and speaking out for reason and the truth which happen to be contradictions to religious views in the 21st century. Every human is African :)

WAKEUP 7:7--Just slow down and think about it. If we are truly concerned, in the well being of our children, never restrict their education and awareness of the world, in regards to the beautiful and inspiring results that math, geometry, biology, physics, and all science can prove. There will always be things we cannot prove yet, however, it is 2012 and what we can prove is exponetionally more than just a mere 100 yrs ago. Just because scientifc facts are corrosive to religious beliefs does not mean we avoid teaching scientific truth simply for fear of eroding away outdated beliefs that ultimitley are corrosive to the development and evolution of our conciousness anyways :)

Delusional 7:56--Is it really logical and likely in your mind 100%, that with the thousands of different sects, thousands of different interpretations of each, you have the absolute certainty, that your sect, and interpretation of that sect and the holy book or writings it subscribes too, describes the reason for everything, you are seriously delusional. Please refrain from breeding until youre cured. The poisonious effects of the doctrine you infected your brain with, has caused serious malnutrition in your brain, which has led to the atrophy of your intuition, intellect and instinct. Breeding these weak characteristics of three really important parts of our conciousness into each generation is retarding our growth, we wont be able to evolve concioussly very fast dragging a ball and chain of outdated childish and ultimitely divisive beliefs :)
Posted by toolpot462 4 years ago
toolpot462
If God did those things to change the outcome of the future, he is effectively determining our fate and absolving our responsibility and free will. There is absolutely no way around this other than conceding, unless you're delusional. If you still think your argument is valid, I think it's time we agree to disagree.
Posted by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
People killing, children hurt and grown men crying

Got me questioning, where is the love.
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
ishallannoyyo
God killed those millions, every event that happened in the past led up to now. If say just one person survived, this future could be drastically different. God knows this, which is why he had to kill those people as to save the future.

And yes, god is responsible for them. But they are good things, not bad.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
TRICKS 6:19--Read and wholeheartedly believe in the teachings from a really old book that has been translated thousands of times, indoctrinate children with that belief that the reason for life, and all the stars and galaxies will send bad kids to hell and thinks its a good idea to stone someone who picks up sticks in Numbers 15:32-36, hammer that disgusting, vile, wicked and immoral rubbish, from a "holy binky" into your children because we cant be moral without our binky to suckle, were just "widdle kids" and we need our binky to suckle when things are going bad, its our binky to suck when we get scared, when we're unsure we pull knowledge from the holy binky, cuz it "feels good", becasue its a "metaphysical thing" that is the nutritional equivalent to feeding your child a plate of what you scraped from underneath a dumpster at a McDonalds parking lot. All that "gunk-n-stuff" into your childs brain and presto, you figured out how to abuse your childs youth without yelling or hitting them. Way to go :)

THOUGHTS 5:19--Was standing up and publicly speaking out against lynchings and other cruel treatment of African Americans or other races during the early 20th century, was that as taboo as standing up and speaking out for reason and the truth which happen to be contradictions to religious views in the 21st century :)

BigKids 12:53--Slow down and think about how illogical it is to say "well, everything is so complex that there has to be a designer, there is some type of creator who put the laws of physics in motion, and this intelligent physicist created perfect gravity and circumstances for life to exist, therefore jesus is my savior and his admittedly jealous father is the reason for everything :)

DevientGenie 8:22--Believers in a god do good for the sake of getting a reward and avoiding punishment after death, non believers in Bronze Aged fiction, do good becasue theyre nice :)
Posted by toolpot462 4 years ago
toolpot462
johnlubba - I didn't say he was annoying. I requested that he stop.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 4 years ago
johnlubba
toolpot462ishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate by both side, I think Con portraying an arguement for free will eliminates the fact God is malevolent, Con points out, that being created to be perfect, or having God intervene on each bad action, elimantes the choice of free will. I buy that. Also Con is allowed to ask for voters but Pro accussed him of being annoying when there was nothing wrong with Cons conduct.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
toolpot462ishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con resorts to saying natural evil is part of God's plan, which is to say he can't answer the point.
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
toolpot462ishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This one was really close. I thought Con adequately addressed reconciled moral evil with the use of the free will defense, but I wasn't so sure about natural evil. Although Con's suggestions for why God allows natural evil were weak, Pro didn't do much to refute them, and they do at least show that it's possible God could have a morally sufficient reason for allowing natural evil. Besides, Pro dropped most of the arguments in the last round, so I gave arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by Jarhyn 4 years ago
Jarhyn
toolpot462ishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Con was clearly pandering for votes, attempting to claim bias of quotes without proving a relevant omission Arguments: CON used clearly contradictory arguments. First he claims that god intercedes against evil through the use of evil, and then he fails to explain why god does not intercede in other clear acts of evil, and then claims clearly relevant arguments are not relevant. Free will can exist in the absence of natural evil; it just means life is not so nasty, brutish, and short, and is much more centered on questions of what to do with ultimate and eternal freedom. Sources: Plantinga's argument is an argument from authority, a bald assertion that free will requires evil; it may be technically reliable, but in terms of sources it is failed. The biblical quotes provided by PRO were not refuted for actual content, merely attacked because they were abbreviated.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
toolpot462ishallannoyyoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro as the instigator clearly has the burden of proof. Even knowing this, and even with Con making that truth explicitly clear, Pro shoots himself in foot throughout his constructive and refutations. Con's free-will argument is maintained throughout the debate so I vote Con. I also award Con the conduct voter for Pro's opening remark in round 3, urging the vote is a common practice.