The Instigator
vintinthethird
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

There is too much evil in the world for the traditional christian god to exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 965 times Debate No: 51623
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

vintinthethird

Pro

I will be arguing that there is too much evil in the world for God to exist. God is defined as omnipotent, omni-benevolent, and omniscient. (although this can be changed if you wish - write in comments)
Wylted

Con

I accept. Burden of proof is on pro. However I will post my own arguments on "the problem of evil".
Debate Round No. 1
vintinthethird

Pro

The best possible reason for the existence of Evil is that it is for a purpose. For example, Irenaeus believed that the existence of evil was to allow humans to develop into the likeness of God, and to allow them to reach heaven. This can also be seen in evils present today. For example, the World Wars have taught countries to communicate, and to work together to prevent future wars, which has resulted in a better world.

However, when we look at the volume of evil in these situations, we can see that the amount of evil overwhelms the amount of God that comes from this Evil. Using the same example as before, surely there was a way of teaching us to avoid war that didn't result in abhorrent levels of pain and suffering which were present in the world wars. If God is omnipotent and omni-benevolent, he would both want to achieve his goal with minimal evil, and be able to do it. Note that this doesn't mean he would violate our free will to teach us this, but he would be able to find a way which caused less evil.

Again, if we look at the volume of evil in the natural world, we see that the amount of evil overcomes any purpose to the evil. For example, the female digger wasp's sting paralyses its prey, allowing her larvae to feast on it whilst it is still living. Here we see a purpose - the wasps must have food to survive - but the amount of evil made in this act is completely unproportional to the purpose. This effect is amplified across the whole of the animal kingdom, giving a far larger amount of evil than the purpose requires, a cycle that John Stuart Mill described a "designedly imperfect work". This again contradicts a perfect God, who would both be able to and want to create a proportional system which balance the evil with the outcome.
Wylted

Con

Introduction

Thank you pro for debating this topic. This is one of those subjects I've been wanting to touch on for a while. I'm going to leave my first round just for opening arguments. I wouldn't be surprised if my opening argument acts as a effective rebuttals for. Pro's contentions. My argument is directly inspired by modern theologians, such as Plantiga, William Lane Craig etc.. Don't be shocked if the arguments look familiar to theirs. These are arguments directly from memory.

The Problem of Evil

The problem of Evil is an argument that works as a defeator for the Omni-God (all powerful, all knowing, all loving). My opponent has specified specifically the Christian Omni-God. If the specific argument entitled 'Problem of Evil' doesn't work as a defeator for the Christian Omni-God than he should lose this debate. Here is what the Problem of Evil argument looks like summed up. The problem of evil isn't really about showing all forms of evil. If evil is made up for with a greater amount of good than it is justified. The argument against an all loving God is an argument that attempts to show gratuitous evil.

P1. If an Omni-God exists, Gratuitous evil doesn't exist.

P2. Gratuitous evil exists.

C. God doesn't exist.


The problem with this argument is that it's impossible to prove gratuitous evil. Make no mistake the burden of proof is on pro. All I have to do is expose the flaws in his argument. Which I undoubtedly will.

The Butterfly Effect

Have you seen The Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher? Ashton Kutcher would repeatedly go into the past and try to stop different evils. Each evil he removed had disasterous effects. God isn't about to make the same mistakes. God's time horizon is extremely long. Too long for our puny minds to fathom. He sees all events future and present. Something that you view as gratuitous evil may very well be something that has disasterous ripple effects millions of years in the future, if God steps in and alters it. Unlike Ashton Kutcher, God doesn't intend to let his creations fall victim to the Butterfly Effect.

Desire for Worship

The Christian Omni-God desires worship and glory.

New Living Translation
Romans 11:36
"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen."

Part of the reason that evil was created, was to be able to appreciate God's glory. How could we ever know God and appreciate him fully unless we fall from his grace first. It's like the saying goes.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

If we're perfect creations, than we will never know God's true capacity for love. Of course he would love a perfect being, but he loves us despite our imperfections. It's a good thing that God didn't create a perfect world with perfect inhabitants. If he had we'd be spared from ever truly understanding how deep his love flows.

Conclusion

It is impossible to show any sort of gratuitous evil because we can't see millions of years into the future. Pro has his work cut out for him. I leave the floor to pro, for his attempt to show gratuitous evil occurs. My rebuttals are coming in round 3.
Debate Round No. 2
vintinthethird

Pro

I would reject the notion that the basis of my argument is that gratuitous evil exists; instead it is focusing on the effectiveness of which the necessary evil is deployed.

Let's start by assuming belief in the Christian omni-god, and that some evils are needed in our world. For example, some animals must kill to eat, and humans must commit sinful mistakes to learn and grow. Also, for any evil that seems to have no purpose, it can be said that we are just unable to see the effect, what with our short-lived lives.

But then, if we start to look at the ways this necessary evil is conducted in this world, we see that the amount of evil that goes into this action is unnecessarily voluminous. Taking the nature example again, it is understandable (just) that an animal must kill to survive. It would be perfectly possible for an omni-god to create a system in nature in which each animal is treated with the respect and love that would be characteristic of an omni-benevolent God. But we do not observe this. Instead, what we see goes far beyond that remit, as seen in the example of the digger wasp.

This shows us (assuming that God designed the world) that there is a imperfection in God's creation - there is excess evil which is not needed. This isn't the gratuitous evil that you were describing as this evil has a purpose. However, as there are clearly methods which would serve the same purpose, whilst reducing the amount of evil needed to fulfil that purpose, the nature of God is in doubt. The only explanations for this excess evil is that God is not Omni-potent (and so is unable to create the perfect system in nature), God is not Omni-benevolent (as he doesn't feel the need to reduce the amount of evil) or God does not exist. Any of these 3 answers contradict the Christian Omni-God, and so we must conclude that this Omni-God cannot exist.
Wylted

Con

"I would reject the notion that the basis of my argument is that gratuitous evil exists; instead it is focusing on the effectiveness of which the necessary evil is deployed."

My opponent contradicts himself in his last set of arguments a few times and doesn't address my key points. In the above line my opponent says all evil is necessary. This statement completely destroys his argument. If all evil is necessary than evil doesn't act as a defeater argument against the existence of God. If all evil is necessary as my opponent suggests in this sentence, than how does "too much" evil exist? Well, if it's all necessary than of course the right amount of evil exists.

"But then, if we start to look at the ways this necessary evil is conducted in this world, we see that the amount of evil that goes into this action is unnecessarily voluminous"

"Unnecessarily voluminous evil" is a synonym for the words "gratuitous evil". This sentence also contradicts it's self by calling necessary evil, unnecessarily voluminous. I'm not sure why my opponent is trying to make his argument so hard to nail down. His argument is exactly what I stated before. He is merely writing in a confusing way and swapping out my words for synonyms.

Here is his argument in my words again. Which is much easier to understand and better stated than the way he stated the argument.

P1. If an Omni-God exists, Gratuitous evil doesn't exist.

P2. Gratuitous evil exists.

C. God doesn't exist.


" Taking the nature example again, it is understandable (just) that an animal must kill to survive. It would be perfectly possible for an omni-god to create a system in nature in which each animal is treated with the respect and love that would be characteristic of an omni-benevolent God. But we do not observe this. Instead, what we see goes far beyond that remit, as seen in the example of the digger wasp."


Now to address my opponent's argument on the gratuitous pain a digger wasp feels when being eaten alive. Here is it being mentioned by my opponent in round 2.

"Again, if we look at the volume of evil in the natural world, we see that the amount of evil overcomes any purpose to the evil. For example, the female digger wasp's sting paralyses its prey, allowing her larvae to feast on it whilst it is still living. Here we see a purpose - the wasps must have food to survive - but the amount of evil made in this act is completely unproportional to the purpose."

This is a bad example. I won't bog anyone down with the technical details, but there is no evidence insects feel pain. Most if not all insects, probably don't have the capacity to feel pain. Nociceptors are something necessary to feel pain and most insects simply don't possess them.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

As far as we can tell, God has spared insects from ever having to feel pain. My opponent has yet to give any examples of gratuitous evil and he will not be capable of doing so, anytime soon.

The problem of evil argument doesn't work as a defeater of the Christian Omni-God.
Debate Round No. 3
vintinthethird

Pro

I don't believe there is any contradiction in my statement that a necessary evil can be unnecessarily voluminous, nor is it a synonym for gratuitous evil.

Gratuitous evil is a evil without a purpose. The evil I am describing serves a specific purpose in God's plan (when we start with a presumption of God). For example, the mass killing in the two world wars. This has served a purpose, as it has allowed peace-keeping organisations like the UN to be set up, and other various benefits. This, therefore, is not a gratuitous evil, as it serves a purpose, potentially from God. However, the amount of evil caused in this war was far in excess of the required amount of evil, throwing into doubt the qualities of God. Surely even one less death would reduce the amount of evil created. Do you believe that the effects of the world wars would not have come to fruition if one less human had died? This clearly points to the non-existence of an Omni-God, for reasons I described earlier.

In terms of the female digger wasp, I guess that it was a mistake on my part to quote anything of Dawkins at all. If I ever get the chance, I will take him up on that.

Nevertheless, the utter failure of that one example doesn't refute the fact that many animals which do have nociceptors are killed in ways unbegetting of the dignity they deserve. Certainly, if any abattoir employed these methods they would be facing a very big lawsuit.

To conclude, although all evil can be directed towards a specific goal, the way this goal is completed is unfit for a Omni-God. Therefore the Omni-God cannot exist.

On a final note, I'd like to thank Mr.Wylted for debating with me, it has been a pleasure to debate with a man of his kind of record on DDO.
Wylted

Con

"On a final note, I'd like to thank Mr.Wylted for debating with me, it has been a pleasure to debate with a man of his kind of record on DDO"

Awe, stop it. You're making me blush.

"I don't believe there is any contradiction in my statement that a necessary evil can be unnecessarily voluminous, nor is it a synonym for gratuitous evil."

I honestly think you're unnecessarily confusing the voters. I'm sorry I should have just swapped the word gratuitous evil with voluminous earlier. Since I'm responding to pro than, I'm obviously using the word gratuitous in a way that reflects what he's talking about. now let me deal with the contradiction.

Since God dictates the amount of evil that is in the world, any voluminous necessary evil is in fact unnecessary from a zoomed out perspective. Saying that the necessary evil is unnecessarily voluminous, is just a confusing way of saying " there is more evil than necessary". No matter what way you word it, you have still failed to offer convincing evidence of this.

" Surely even one less death would reduce the amount of evil created."

There is simply no way of knowing if one death would have been a net gain or net loss of total evil in the world. Given what I discussed earlier with God's infinite time horizon and the butterfly effect, it seems that there is no way of ever knowing what if anything can be considered unnecessarily voluminous evil.

"In terms of the female digger wasp, I guess that it was a mistake on my part to quote anything of Dawkins at all. If I ever get the chance, I will take him up on that."

I've read a bunch of his books as well. He's pretty good at science, not so good at philosophy.

Conclusion

'The Problem of Evil' argument doesn't work as a defeater of the Christian Omni-God. From a personal perspective it can appear there is too much evil in this world, but that's a biased belief based on the fact that it sux to experience and see evil. when you zoom out and attempt to look at this from God's perspective, every ounce of pain can be justified, no matter how horrendous it appears in our tiny timeframe.

Thank you vintinthethird for having this debate with me.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by vintinthethird 3 years ago
vintinthethird
@Iamanatheist...

I find your reason for voting very strange, as I did in fact mention human war. Also, Wylted did not bring up the concept that only humans can commit evil, so I feel aggrieved that I am penalized for my lack to counter a non-existent point. I chose to focus on animal evil as I felt it proved my point better, but made sure to mention human evil also, and would have defended my choice had wylted brought that point into contention.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Maybe the Agnostics are right, if god exists, it is beyond human knowledge and experience.
Which is similar to vampandaz statement.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
You make some good points vin.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Why would it be necessary to change omni benevolent with all loving? All loving is literally the definition of omnibenevolent.
Posted by vampandaz 3 years ago
vampandaz
I agree that there is to much evil in the world for there to be a "god", but I also believe that maybe theres a god, but he/she isn't exactly who we all think he/she is. I think people have molded god into this amazing person when its not him.
Posted by Kawurairee 3 years ago
Kawurairee
Remove omnibenevolent and instead replace it simply with 'all loving'.

Then I will take the debate. :)
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
vintinthethirdWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had Pro up on the ropes. Pro spent more time on explaining previous arguments than attacking the topic. Pro did not have sources. Even though topic wise, I am on Pro's side, but Pro's attack was a little weak.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
vintinthethirdWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The problem of evil as presented by Pro suffered from two critical factors, one the definition of evil and then the fact that the arguments consisted of animal arguments. Humans are animals, but to correlate lions hunting with evil goes against logic. As such Con showed the problems with these arguments and gets awarded argument points. Other points are tied. Nice debate and very respectful.
Vote Placed by Benshapiro 3 years ago
Benshapiro
vintinthethirdWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "there is more evil than necessary'. No matter what way you word it, you have still failed to offer convincing evidence of this. I believe con was right when he said that. Pro has the burden of proof to demonstrate why there is too much evil for God to exist and has failed to do so. It's impossible to prove whether one less death in a world war would've led to a higher net increase of good in the entire span of human existence. On the other hand, I felt that con misunderstood pro's argument for most of the debate- arguing that pro was arguing against the existence of arbitrary evil which wasn't his argument. Overall this was good debate but con had the upper hand and easier position due to pro's necessary burden of proof.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
vintinthethirdWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Yay a good debate from both sides. I found myself very much on Pro's side at the end of the debate. I especially liked his style of writing. However, I think Pro's case would have been stronger if he'd directly rebutted Con's arguments a bit more, and he had the BoP. So I'm going to leave it tied.