Total Posts:25|Showing Posts:1-25
Jump to topic:

On the Gratitious Evil Argument

NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 1:50:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Correction: God doesn't have to be intervening. He could have set the world in a way where evil in human absence is limited in suffering or completely absent.
tbhidc
Posts: 84
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 3:45:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

I essentially agree with you. While I think a skilled debater can present examples where it seems very very likely gratuitous evil is present, it seems that it can never be definitively shown.

This also seems to be a weakness of the Modal argument from evil, though not quite as much. Gratuitous evil seems, on face value, to be metaphysically possible. However, this would mean that there is a possible world in which God does not exist. Which would support the reverse modal ontological argument.

But then again, the theist can always insist that "Since God exists, gratuitous suffering is utterly impossible...even if it *seems* to be possible and real."

However, this rests upon the idea that God can be deductively shown to exist. I personally think this is the case, however in a debate, you're far more likely to get away with showing that the possibility of gratuitous suffering is alot more likely than the necessary existence of God.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 8:16:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 8:29:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 8:16:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

According to Richard Dawkins the world "appears" to be designed, but he doesn't think it is. Still, he thinks it is up to those who "see" this design to prove it is real. So is it up to those who see that you are on the computer to prove that you are?
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 8:34:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 8:29:09 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/27/2014 8:16:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

According to Richard Dawkins the world "appears" to be designed, but he doesn't think it is. Still, he thinks it is up to those who "see" this design to prove it is real.

Then he is not thinking straight. If he thinks that there appears to be design, then he has just adhered to a prima facie case for Theism. I think we should all assume things are as they seem unless we have a good reason to doubt it. For example, I adhere to a timeless ontology, but I believe the burden of proof is on me to prove that is the case, as it certainly seems as if there is time.

So is it up to those who see that you are on the computer to prove that you are?
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2014 8:40:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 8:34:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/27/2014 8:29:09 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/27/2014 8:16:56 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

According to Richard Dawkins the world "appears" to be designed, but he doesn't think it is. Still, he thinks it is up to those who "see" this design to prove it is real.

Then he is not thinking straight. If he thinks that there appears to be design, then he has just adhered to a prima facie case for Theism. I think we should all assume things are as they seem unless we have a good reason to doubt it. For example, I adhere to a timeless ontology, but I believe the burden of proof is on me to prove that is the case, as it certainly seems as if there is time.

I agree with you. Most people think that our world seems designed, so why do nearly all atheists seem to place the burden-of-proof of the creator on those who recognize the creator's handiwork?

So is it up to those who see that you are on the computer to prove that you are?
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2014 9:36:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The evidential PoE isn't a deductive argument in the first place, so saying it doesn't have any deductive power is stating the obvious...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2014 8:19:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position

Yes it does haha We have a defeater for it, but it is still the default position without that defeater.

, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun.

Ok, then I guess the default position isn't that I am talking on a computer. It could all be an illusion, like the sun going around the Earth. So, you are saying I shouldn't assume I am on a computer right now?

If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

Nobody is saying that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious. We are saying that without a defeater, we should believe the sun goes around the Earth.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2014 8:21:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer, or that I went to work today... your logic leaves us epistemological paralyzed, and as such, must be rejected.
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/29/2014 2:43:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/28/2014 8:21:54 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer, or that I went to work today... your logic leaves us epistemological paralyzed, and as such, must be rejected.

Epistemological paralysis is inescapable. Anyone can say that the existence of a God is "obvious" to him and that it is obvious that every "evil" amounts to a greater good, and that would be a defeater to your gratuitous evil which seems "obvious" to you as well, making your approach epistemologically paralyzed as well, because two contradictory things could be "obvious" to different people, and can be assumed to be true based on that basis.

Concerning the sun, without a defeater, humankind will assume the obvious, but that doesn't make it the default position, it makes it the stupid position humankind usually takes. The default position is indecision on the issue.

I will follow the empirical evidence taking the less wrong position. If for pragmatic purposes, I should assume what is obvious, I would, but in a philosophy debate or discussion, it is a different language-game altogether, and I will not deductively assume that "the tree exists" just because it is obvious to me, but because of the empirical evidence, and I believe there is more empirical evidence and less defeaters for you being on a computer than there exists for the existence of gratuitous evil in the world.
subgenius
Posts: 124
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/29/2014 7:51:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This thread is a ridiculous thesis.
The idea that a wildfire burning a fawn is "evil", by any measure, is absurd and irrational - especially in the context of God.
Suffering, pain, or hardship are not inherently evil.
Evil is necessarily defined by morality. Amoral beings (i.e. atheists) are unable to have a concern for good/evil - right/wrong; therefore there is no argument for them to make.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/30/2014 8:40:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/29/2014 2:43:25 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 8:21:54 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer, or that I went to work today... your logic leaves us epistemological paralyzed, and as such, must be rejected.

Epistemological paralysis is inescapable. Anyone can say that the existence of a God is "obvious" to him and that it is obvious that every "evil" amounts to a greater good, and that would be a defeater to your gratuitous evil which seems "obvious" to you as well, making your approach epistemologically paralyzed as well, because two contradictory things could be "obvious" to different people, and can be assumed to be true based on that basis.

Concerning the sun, without a defeater, humankind will assume the obvious, but that doesn't make it the default position, it makes it the stupid position humankind usually takes. The default position is indecision on the issue.

I will follow the empirical evidence taking the less wrong position. If for pragmatic purposes, I should assume what is obvious, I would, but in a philosophy debate or discussion, it is a different language-game altogether, and I will not deductively assume that "the tree exists" just because it is obvious to me, but because of the empirical evidence, and I believe there is more empirical evidence and less defeaters for you being on a computer than there exists for the existence of gratuitous evil in the world.

It's obvious that I am on a computer, but according to your logic, there should be indecision on that. According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer. That just seems absurd to me.
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/31/2014 12:40:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/30/2014 8:40:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/29/2014 2:43:25 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 8:21:54 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer, or that I went to work today... your logic leaves us epistemological paralyzed, and as such, must be rejected.

Epistemological paralysis is inescapable. Anyone can say that the existence of a God is "obvious" to him and that it is obvious that every "evil" amounts to a greater good, and that would be a defeater to your gratuitous evil which seems "obvious" to you as well, making your approach epistemologically paralyzed as well, because two contradictory things could be "obvious" to different people, and can be assumed to be true based on that basis.

Concerning the sun, without a defeater, humankind will assume the obvious, but that doesn't make it the default position, it makes it the stupid position humankind usually takes. The default position is indecision on the issue.

I will follow the empirical evidence taking the less wrong position. If for pragmatic purposes, I should assume what is obvious, I would, but in a philosophy debate or discussion, it is a different language-game altogether, and I will not deductively assume that "the tree exists" just because it is obvious to me, but because of the empirical evidence, and I believe there is more empirical evidence and less defeaters for you being on a computer than there exists for the existence of gratuitous evil in the world.

It's obvious that I am on a computer, but according to your logic, there should be indecision on that. According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer. That just seems absurd to me.

No, you could say you're on your computer,but there is indeed indecision on whether that is 100% true, especially if we were having a philosophical discussion where you used that in an argument or an example.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/31/2014 6:41:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

I agree that the deductive argument fails. However, the inductive argument still has a lot of strength, and strength that you're not fairly giving it, in my opinion. Induction has been one of the most popular tools for millennia because it is so accurate. Whether it is history, geography, the hard sciences, psychology, or even aspects of philosophy, we use induction because the real world requires us to.

Deduction requries a priori reasoning by and large (the exception cases are usually fringe ones which aren't important to our discussion), while anything a posteriori requires induction. As we are dealing with the real world, the argument is inductive, and so the problem of evil is inductive in that sense. Similarly, the teleological and cosmological and kalam arguments are all inductive, as they rely on our experiences of the world.

So if induction is not a problem with the argument from evil, then its phrasing must be the problem. Yet I think the argument can be put in the form of a simple, yet persuasive, question: "Is the death by starvation of children we do not know in countries we cannot spell in numbers worse than any tyrant on earth has ever reached, more likely to be a part of the plan of the omnibenevolent creator?" If not, then it follows that the omnibenevolent creator does not exist - or that these deaths do not happen. And as it is more clear to our senses that these children are dying, and that we cannot fathom a good reason why they are dying, than that an omnibenevolent creator exists, it logically follows that we must claim that the omnibenevolent creator does not exist.

Some arguments have some merit in a response: the argument, for example, that the omnibenevolent creator's plan is unfathomable to us, and yet it is still good. However, the problem with this argument is that it begs the question - how do we know that this unfathomable plan is good? We could only know if we knew an omnibenevolent creator existed, and yet that is what the argument seeks to address. If this line of reasoning is pursued, we have to then find justification for an omnibenevolent creator without pointing to the good/evil of this world (as seeming gratuitous evil is a strong point against the existence of an omnibenevolent creator), which seems to me to be too tall an order to be possibly achieved.

In short, I think the inductive argument from evil should be given a bit more merit, and while it is of course fallible like all inductive arguments, it still has an extremely strong amount of worth on its side.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/31/2014 6:45:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 8:34:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
According to Richard Dawkins the world "appears" to be designed, but he doesn't think it is. Still, he thinks it is up to those who "see" this design to prove it is real.

Then he is not thinking straight. If he thinks that there appears to be design, then he has just adhered to a prima facie case for Theism.

Seems to be design =/= there is design. The confusion between 'seems to be' and 'is' is a very important one - the first is an intuitive belief which I think the vast majority of people hold originally, while the latter would have to come from scrutiny of our held belief. The puddle analogy by Douglas Adams is a great point here. Our intuition for design does not prove design, but only gives it evidence. That evidence though is overwhelmed by all reasoned evidence, I would hold, when we analyse the world.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2014 9:36:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/31/2014 12:40:18 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 5/30/2014 8:40:14 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/29/2014 2:43:25 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 8:21:54 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/28/2014 1:48:19 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
It seems like there is gratuitous evil, just like it seems I am on a computer. The burden of proof is on the one who says I am not on the computer, as it clearly appears that way. Similarly, the burden of proof is on the one who says there is not gratuitous evil, as it certainly seems like there is.

That's a fallacious appeal to the obvious You're saying that was appears obvious is the default position, which is something I don't agree with. The sun seemingly rotating around the Earth doesn't make it the default position, the default position is indecision on whether the sun rotates around the Earth or the Earth rotates around the sun. If you argue that the sun rotates around the Earth because it is obvious, you're making a positive claim and a fallacious appeal to the obvious, much like someone saying "objective morals exist because we all know it deep down," clearly not escaping the burden of proof because you're still making a positive and unsupported claim.

According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer, or that I went to work today... your logic leaves us epistemological paralyzed, and as such, must be rejected.

Epistemological paralysis is inescapable. Anyone can say that the existence of a God is "obvious" to him and that it is obvious that every "evil" amounts to a greater good, and that would be a defeater to your gratuitous evil which seems "obvious" to you as well, making your approach epistemologically paralyzed as well, because two contradictory things could be "obvious" to different people, and can be assumed to be true based on that basis.

Concerning the sun, without a defeater, humankind will assume the obvious, but that doesn't make it the default position, it makes it the stupid position humankind usually takes. The default position is indecision on the issue.

I will follow the empirical evidence taking the less wrong position. If for pragmatic purposes, I should assume what is obvious, I would, but in a philosophy debate or discussion, it is a different language-game altogether, and I will not deductively assume that "the tree exists" just because it is obvious to me, but because of the empirical evidence, and I believe there is more empirical evidence and less defeaters for you being on a computer than there exists for the existence of gratuitous evil in the world.

It's obvious that I am on a computer, but according to your logic, there should be indecision on that. According to your logic, I cannot say I am on a computer. That just seems absurd to me.

No, you could say you're on your computer,but there is indeed indecision on whether that is 100% true, especially if we were having a philosophical discussion where you used that in an argument or an example.

That is trivially true. There are only a few things we can all say we know 100% is true, such as our minds existing.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/2/2014 9:41:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/31/2014 6:45:19 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 5/27/2014 8:34:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
According to Richard Dawkins the world "appears" to be designed, but he doesn't think it is. Still, he thinks it is up to those who "see" this design to prove it is real.

Then he is not thinking straight. If he thinks that there appears to be design, then he has just adhered to a prima facie case for Theism.

Seems to be design =/= there is design. The confusion between 'seems to be' and 'is' is a very important one - the first is an intuitive belief which I think the vast majority of people hold originally, while the latter would have to come from scrutiny of our held belief. The puddle analogy by Douglas Adams is a great point here. Our intuition for design does not prove design, but only gives it evidence. That evidence though is overwhelmed by all reasoned evidence, I would hold, when we analyse the world.

You confuse knowledge with with absolute knowledge. If something strongly appears to be a certain way, then without a defeater, it is reasonable to hold that as true. It strongly appears as if I am typing on a computer. So, I am reasonable to believe it.

What evidence is there that the universe wasn't designed?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/4/2014 5:11:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/2/2014 9:41:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

What evidence is there that the universe wasn't designed?

I feel I have to repeat myself here: your confusing 'the universe seems designed' and 'the universe is designed'. One solution to a seemingly designed universe is that it is actually designed. However, that is one of many options, including less likely ones like luck, or more likely explanations such as evolution aided by natural selection and we simply being mistaken about design. The latter is backed up by most of modern science, while the latter is made plausible by Douglas Adams' puddle analogy.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/4/2014 9:49:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 5:11:06 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/2/2014 9:41:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

What evidence is there that the universe wasn't designed?

I feel I have to repeat myself here: your confusing 'the universe seems designed' and 'the universe is designed'.

If you concede that the universe seems designed, then you have just conceded a prima facie case for theism.

One solution to a seemingly designed universe is that it is actually designed.

Umm ya, something being the way it seems is always the best explanation until proven otherwise. It seems like I am on a computer, so, me being a computer is the best explanation for this unless you have a defeater.

However, that is one of many options, including less likely ones like luck, or more likely explanations such as evolution aided by natural selection and we simply being mistaken about design.

Natural Selection and Design are not mutually exclusive.

The latter is backed up by most of modern science, while the latter is made plausible by Douglas Adams' puddle analogy.

The puddle analogy is flawed. The universe could still be designed, even if it wasn't designed with us in mind. The puddle analogy only deals with design that holds us in the centre.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/5/2014 7:39:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 9:49:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/4/2014 5:11:06 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/2/2014 9:41:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

What evidence is there that the universe wasn't designed?

I feel I have to repeat myself here: your confusing 'the universe seems designed' and 'the universe is designed'.

If you concede that the universe seems designed, then you have just conceded a prima facie case for theism.

Again, I have no idea why this is to be so. Evolution with natural selection explains why we seem to have intelligent design - and we clearly seem to have intelligent design, if not the perfect design a perfect creator spawns - and so the argument loses all force.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/6/2014 7:33:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Plugging my debate on the exact same topic. This debate started just before this thread was opened up I believe. http://www.debate.org...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/9/2014 12:06:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/5/2014 7:39:24 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/4/2014 9:49:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 6/4/2014 5:11:06 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/2/2014 9:41:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

What evidence is there that the universe wasn't designed?

I feel I have to repeat myself here: your confusing 'the universe seems designed' and 'the universe is designed'.

If you concede that the universe seems designed, then you have just conceded a prima facie case for theism.

Again, I have no idea why this is to be so. Evolution with natural selection explains why we seem to have intelligent design - and we clearly seem to have intelligent design, if not the perfect design a perfect creator spawns - and so the argument loses all force.

Perfect design =/= desigin

Even if we weren't perfectly designed, that doesn't mean we weren't designed.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/9/2014 5:52:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/27/2014 1:48:13 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
The PoGE is probably the best argument against traditional theism but it has many weaknesses, such as the atheist being unable to deductively prove the existence of gratuitous evil.

A common example is a Fawn getting burned by a wild fire in a forest without anyone knowing or witnessing the event. However, the fact that we can still think of this particular example could possibly mean that such evil affects our morality in a way that surmounts to the greater good, ergo, that evil is not really gratuitous. Now if our imagination is only sufficient at teaching us the moral lesson, then God could simply not allow such things to happen, but the fact that "nobody knows about this fire happening" means such hypothesis is untestable; God could be preventing such evils without us knowing. Why not? The only method to overcome that would be to inductively assume that any evil occurring in our presence could also occur in our absence, because of prior naturalistic probabilities, but that begs the question as it assumes that God is non-intervening, when not all traditional theists share such assumption. If God is secretly intervening, then he could be secretly stopping such evils from occurring, or at least, limiting the amount of suffering for the Fawn.

An atheist could argue that making many babies suffer is gratuitous because whatever moral lesson or greater good sought from such suffering could be taught in different ways. However, it is only an inductive argument to suppose that it could, as the reasons and purposes of God, if found, are concealed from us, and therefore we're making a simple induction based on the available evidence.

In summary, the atheist and theist are caught in an inductive struggle to determine whether the best explanation of the Data confirms or refutes that existence of gratuitous evil. However, this is not an argument with deductive power.

So, basically Sceptical Theism? Fair enough, although this is just as big a problem for Christian theism as the PoE. It's also just an assertion at this point.

And the point about deduction is odd. My belief in other minds and the external world is inductive, as is my belief that the sun will rise tomorrow. I don't really see that my beliefs in these cases is "weak" at all. If deduction's what you require, you're going to be unable to justify almost anything.