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The Problem Of Evil

Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.

Most of the debate regarding the POE revolves around the Evidential Problem of Evil, as Alvin Plantinga's Free-Will defense seems to have done away with the Logical Problem of Evil. However, I am inclined to believe that it is almost self-evident that God, if he is truly omnibenevolent, would not exist if evil exists. It is because God can could have only had one of these two properties before he created anything, but not both:

(i) Necessarily the necessary condition for only good
(ii) Possibly the necessary condition for evil

Now, if God exists then clearly Christians (or any people adhering to the traditional view of God) would have to agree that God had property (ii), as they certainly believe that evil exists. Since evil exists and God created everything that is not God himself, then necessarily, God has property (ii) and not (i). However, if we look at (i) and (ii) we can clearly see that a truly omnibenevolent God would have property (i) and not (ii), as having the potential for evil to exist in the world carried inside you is far less of a good property than only having the potential for good to exist in the world, as, evil is not-good. Any theist who thinks the traditional God would have property (ii) over (i) cannot in the same breath claim God is ALL good. He would only be SOMEWHAT good, as he would be the necessary condition for evil, while being the necessary condition for only good would be more good as it means the being in question can only causes things to exist which bring the most good out into the world (this being's creations would just be a reflection of the being after all).

The Free-Will defense is irrelevant, because even if we couldn't do evil we would still have free-will. Freely choosing between two good, non-evil options is still a free choice none the less. Saying that us being unable to do evil at will would entail we didn't have free will is like saying that because we are unable to teleport to Mars just by thinking about it that means we don't have free will. Not being able to do X doesn't entail we do not have free will, all that is required is that we can freely choose between A and B (even if neither A or B are evil options).

As far as the Evidential POE goes? Christians have a huge objection they have to deal with. In their view, apparent gratuitous suffering is necessary in order for some unknown greater good to come about. However, if this is true, then we should never stop any apparent gratuitous suffering, as it would be necessary for some greater good. The problem is we should stop apparent gratuitous suffering (like a child buried under rubble screaming in pain). Therefore, there is a clear problem with the theistic rebuttal to gratuitous suffering.

Either way, the existence of Evil seems to clearly show God, at least in the sense in question, certainly cannot exist.
NHN
Posts: 624
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8/19/2016 12:22:26 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.
No. If the Old Testament G-d existed, the traditional deity to which you refer, he'd still be unknowable and radically detached from all human life; Moses only ever saw his back. Moreover, G-d is a vengeful being who demands outright obedience. He and he alone defines what is good. Evil, therefore, is disobedience and insubordination.

For instance, beyond the example of Abraham and Isaac, G-d demanded of Moses that he and the brothers of Levi kill all of the 3,000 who would not honor the Commandments (Exodus 32:28).

This is why it is difficult to ground morality and the problem of evil within a primordial setting determined by the (traditional) Judaeo-Christian deity.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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8/19/2016 12:17:42 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.

Most of the debate regarding the POE revolves around the Evidential Problem of Evil, as Alvin Plantinga's Free-Will defense seems to have done away with the Logical Problem of Evil. However, I am inclined to believe that it is almost self-evident that God, if he is truly omnibenevolent, would not exist if evil exists. It is because God can could have only had one of these two properties before he created anything, but not both:

(i) Necessarily the necessary condition for only good
(ii) Possibly the necessary condition for evil

Now, if God exists then clearly Christians (or any people adhering to the traditional view of God) would have to agree that God had property (ii), as they certainly believe that evil exists. Since evil exists and God created everything that is not God himself, then necessarily, God has property (ii) and not (i). However, if we look at (i) and (ii) we can clearly see that a truly omnibenevolent God would have property (i) and not (ii), as having the potential for evil to exist in the world carried inside you is far less of a good property than only having the potential for good to exist in the world, as, evil is not-good. Any theist who thinks the traditional God would have property (ii) over (i) cannot in the same breath claim God is ALL good. He would only be SOMEWHAT good, as he would be the necessary condition for evil, while being the necessary condition for only good would be more good as it means the being in question can only causes things to exist which bring the most good out into the world (this being's creations would just be a reflection of the being after all).

The Free-Will defense is irrelevant, because even if we couldn't do evil we would still have free-will. Freely choosing between two good, non-evil options is still a free choice none the less. Saying that us being unable to do evil at will would entail we didn't have free will is like saying that because we are unable to teleport to Mars just by thinking about it that means we don't have free will. Not being able to do X doesn't entail we do not have free will, all that is required is that we can freely choose between A and B (even if neither A or B are evil options).

As far as the Evidential POE goes? Christians have a huge objection they have to deal with. In their view, apparent gratuitous suffering is necessary in order for some unknown greater good to come about. However, if this is true, then we should never stop any apparent gratuitous suffering, as it would be necessary for some greater good. The problem is we should stop apparent gratuitous suffering (like a child buried under rubble screaming in pain). Therefore, there is a clear problem with the theistic rebuttal to gratuitous suffering.

Either way, the existence of Evil seems to clearly show God, at least in the sense in question, certainly cannot exist.

Light exists. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness is not a property of light. I think the same principle applies to good and evil.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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8/19/2016 1:37:42 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/19/2016 12:17:42 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
At 8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.

Most of the debate regarding the POE revolves around the Evidential Problem of Evil, as Alvin Plantinga's Free-Will defense seems to have done away with the Logical Problem of Evil. However, I am inclined to believe that it is almost self-evident that God, if he is truly omnibenevolent, would not exist if evil exists. It is because God can could have only had one of these two properties before he created anything, but not both:

(i) Necessarily the necessary condition for only good
(ii) Possibly the necessary condition for evil

Now, if God exists then clearly Christians (or any people adhering to the traditional view of God) would have to agree that God had property (ii), as they certainly believe that evil exists. Since evil exists and God created everything that is not God himself, then necessarily, God has property (ii) and not (i). However, if we look at (i) and (ii) we can clearly see that a truly omnibenevolent God would have property (i) and not (ii), as having the potential for evil to exist in the world carried inside you is far less of a good property than only having the potential for good to exist in the world, as, evil is not-good. Any theist who thinks the traditional God would have property (ii) over (i) cannot in the same breath claim God is ALL good. He would only be SOMEWHAT good, as he would be the necessary condition for evil, while being the necessary condition for only good would be more good as it means the being in question can only causes things to exist which bring the most good out into the world (this being's creations would just be a reflection of the being after all).

The Free-Will defense is irrelevant, because even if we couldn't do evil we would still have free-will. Freely choosing between two good, non-evil options is still a free choice none the less. Saying that us being unable to do evil at will would entail we didn't have free will is like saying that because we are unable to teleport to Mars just by thinking about it that means we don't have free will. Not being able to do X doesn't entail we do not have free will, all that is required is that we can freely choose between A and B (even if neither A or B are evil options).

As far as the Evidential POE goes? Christians have a huge objection they have to deal with. In their view, apparent gratuitous suffering is necessary in order for some unknown greater good to come about. However, if this is true, then we should never stop any apparent gratuitous suffering, as it would be necessary for some greater good. The problem is we should stop apparent gratuitous suffering (like a child buried under rubble screaming in pain). Therefore, there is a clear problem with the theistic rebuttal to gratuitous suffering.

Either way, the existence of Evil seems to clearly show God, at least in the sense in question, certainly cannot exist.

Light exists. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness is not a property of light. I think the same principle applies to good and evil.

This is not true, because the absence of good isn't necessarily evil. If I don't donate to charity, that is an absence of a good. However, that does not make me evil. If I don't come to your house an build you a water well randomly that it the absence of something good, but that doesn't mean not building the well is evil! Evil is its own thing. Stabbing your in the eye for fun or raping someone is evil, but these are actions in their own right NOT just the absence of something good.
createdman
Posts: 110
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8/19/2016 5:02:44 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.

Most of the debate regarding the POE revolves around the Evidential Problem of Evil, as Alvin Plantinga's Free-Will defense seems to have done away with the Logical Problem of Evil. However, I am inclined to believe that it is almost self-evident that God, if he is truly omnibenevolent, would not exist if evil exists. It is because God can could have only had one of these two properties before he created anything, but not both:

(i) Necessarily the necessary condition for only good
(ii) Possibly the necessary condition for evil

Now, if God exists then clearly Christians (or any people adhering to the traditional view of God) would have to agree that God had property (ii), as they certainly believe that evil exists. Since evil exists and God created everything that is not God himself, then necessarily, God has property (ii) and not (i). However, if we look at (i) and (ii) we can clearly see that a truly omnibenevolent God would have property (i) and not (ii), as having the potential for evil to exist in the world carried inside you is far less of a good property than only having the potential for good to exist in the world, as, evil is not-good. Any theist who thinks the traditional God would have property (ii) over (i) cannot in the same breath claim God is ALL good. He would only be SOMEWHAT good, as he would be the necessary condition for evil, while being the necessary condition for only good would be more good as it means the being in question can only causes things to exist which bring the most good out into the world (this being's creations would just be a reflection of the being after all).

The Free-Will defense is irrelevant, because even if we couldn't do evil we would still have free-will. Freely choosing between two good, non-evil options is still a free choice none the less. Saying that us being unable to do evil at will would entail we didn't have free will is like saying that because we are unable to teleport to Mars just by thinking about it that means we don't have free will. Not being able to do X doesn't entail we do not have free will, all that is required is that we can freely choose between A and B (even if neither A or B are evil options).

As far as the Evidential POE goes? Christians have a huge objection they have to deal with. In their view, apparent gratuitous suffering is necessary in order for some unknown greater good to come about. However, if this is true, then we should never stop any apparent gratuitous suffering, as it would be necessary for some greater good. The problem is we should stop apparent gratuitous suffering (like a child buried under rubble screaming in pain). Therefore, there is a clear problem with the theistic rebuttal to gratuitous suffering.

Either way, the existence of Evil seems to clearly show God, at least in the sense in question, certainly cannot exist. : :

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Jeremiah 32:
23: and they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey thy voice or walk in thy law; they did nothing of all thou didst command them to do. Therefore thou hast made all this evil come upon them.

Exodus 15:
26: saying, "If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD, your healer."

Deuteronomy 28
15: "But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
16: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.
17: Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough.
18: cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock.
19: Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20: "the Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and frustration, in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your doings, because you have forsaken me.
21: The Lord will make the pestilence cleave to you until he has consumed you off the land which you are entering to take possession of it.
22: The Lord will smite you with consumption, and with fever, inflammation, and fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.
23: And the heavens over your head shall be brass, and the earth under you shall be iron.
24: The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down upon you until you are destroyed.
FrostyCold
Posts: 17
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8/26/2016 4:50:45 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/18/2016 11:59:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If the traditional God exists then he is omnibenevolent; this means that all of his properties must be the most benevolent properties conceivable. If this is not the case, then clearly, God is not omnibenevolent.

Most of the debate regarding the POE revolves around the Evidential Problem of Evil, as Alvin Plantinga's Free-Will defense seems to have done away with the Logical Problem of Evil. However, I am inclined to believe that it is almost self-evident that God, if he is truly omnibenevolent, would not exist if evil exists. It is because God can could have only had one of these two properties before he created anything, but not both:

(i) Necessarily the necessary condition for only good
(ii) Possibly the necessary condition for evil

Now, if God exists then clearly Christians (or any people adhering to the traditional view of God) would have to agree that God had property (ii), as they certainly believe that evil exists. Since evil exists and God created everything that is not God himself, then necessarily, God has property (ii) and not (i). However, if we look at (i) and (ii) we can clearly see that a truly omnibenevolent God would have property (i) and not (ii), as having the potential for evil to exist in the world carried inside you is far less of a good property than only having the potential for good to exist in the world, as, evil is not-good. Any theist who thinks the traditional God would have property (ii) over (i) cannot in the same breath claim God is ALL good. He would only be SOMEWHAT good, as he would be the necessary condition for evil, while being the necessary condition for only good would be more good as it means the being in question can only causes things to exist which bring the most good out into the world (this being's creations would just be a reflection of the being after all).

The Free-Will defense is irrelevant, because even if we couldn't do evil we would still have free-will. Freely choosing between two good, non-evil options is still a free choice none the less. Saying that us being unable to do evil at will would entail we didn't have free will is like saying that because we are unable to teleport to Mars just by thinking about it that means we don't have free will. Not being able to do X doesn't entail we do not have free will, all that is required is that we can freely choose between A and B (even if neither A or B are evil options).

As far as the Evidential POE goes? Christians have a huge objection they have to deal with. In their view, apparent gratuitous suffering is necessary in order for some unknown greater good to come about. However, if this is true, then we should never stop any apparent gratuitous suffering, as it would be necessary for some greater good. The problem is we should stop apparent gratuitous suffering (like a child buried under rubble screaming in pain). Therefore, there is a clear problem with the theistic rebuttal to gratuitous suffering.

Either way, the existence of Evil seems to clearly show God, at least in the sense in question, certainly cannot exist.

I have a... different way of answering this. I'm an atheist but if God did exist and has his own objective morals that he believes everyone should follow. But then so would Satan and other human beings. But who should we believe which morals are inherently more important? The answer is of course neither because its entirely subjective to which morals we should follow. Good and evil is subjective and judged by perception there is no objective form.