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"The Problem of Evil"

Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is a debate, or a discussion thread, on whether "The Problem of Evil" is a valid argument against the existence of God.

Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.
joneszj
Posts: 1,202
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7/27/2012 6:56:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
This is a debate, or a discussion thread, on whether "The Problem of Evil" is a valid argument against the existence of God.

Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Read this article and tell me what you think
http://www.reformed.org...
Question_Mark
Posts: 24
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7/27/2012 6:59:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 6:56:02 PM, joneszj wrote:
At 7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
This is a debate, or a discussion thread, on whether "The Problem of Evil" is a valid argument against the existence of God.

Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Read this article and tell me what you think
http://www.reformed.org...

Could you summarize the article? I don't have the time to read the article in it's entirely. Sorry.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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7/27/2012 7:12:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good? This argument is based on Plato's Forms in that evil does not exist as a physical reality, but that only good does. Therefore, since particulars are just shadows of reality, evil is just a "shadow" of good.

Regardless, crap argument is crap because it assumes Plato's Forms as true.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/27/2012 7:16:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 7:12:18 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good? This argument is based on Plato's Forms in that evil does not exist as a physical reality, but that only good does. Therefore, since particulars are just shadows of reality, evil is just a "shadow" of good.

Regardless, crap argument is crap because it assumes Plato's Forms as true.

"What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good?"

How could evil simply be the absence of good? Lets say I stand in front of you and do absolutely nothing bu stand there. There is obviously a lack of good. I'm not helping you, I'm not doing anything good, at all. However, standing in front of you doing nothing is not evil. Thus, evil cannot be simply just a lack of good.
Lordknukle
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7/27/2012 7:21:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 7:16:39 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/27/2012 7:12:18 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good? This argument is based on Plato's Forms in that evil does not exist as a physical reality, but that only good does. Therefore, since particulars are just shadows of reality, evil is just a "shadow" of good.

Regardless, crap argument is crap because it assumes Plato's Forms as true.

"What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good?"

How could evil simply be the absence of good? Lets say I stand in front of you and do absolutely nothing bu stand there. There is obviously a lack of good. I'm not helping you, I'm not doing anything good, at all. However, standing in front of you doing nothing is not evil. Thus, evil cannot be simply just a lack of good.

A lack of good implies that you are doing an action that is directly "not good" (whatever the hell that is). The syllogism goes like this:

First: 1) All things that God created are good; 2) evil is not good; 3) therefore, evil was not created by God. Second: 1) God created every thing; 2) God did not create evil; 3) therefore, evil is not a thing.

"Lack of good" may not have been the correct phrasing. A "deprivation of good" is actually what the argument suggests.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 7:29:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 7:12:18 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
What if "Evil" is not a thing, per se, but an absence of good?

Evil is generally defined as morally wrong or bad. Though, another definition of evil is the dualistic opposite of good, so it wouldn't be the *absence* of good.

This argument is based on Plato's Forms in that evil does not exist as a physical reality, but that only good does. Therefore, since particulars are just shadows of :reality, evil is just a "shadow" of good.

I suppose a 'shadow of good' could be considered a valid definition of good, as it is sometimes viewed as the opposite of good.

Regardless, crap argument is crap because it assumes Plato's Forms as true.
Lordknukle
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7/27/2012 7:31:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
A way to look at it is let's assume a pit:

Is a pit just an absence of dirt or is it a real thing by itself?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 7:37:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 7:31:21 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
A way to look at it is let's assume a pit:

Is a pit just an absence of dirt or is it a real thing by itself?

I would think a pit would be a 'real' thing. As the same premise would imply that a cave is simply a lack of rock, which is untrue.
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 8:12:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:07:57 PM, TheFogHorn wrote:
Which god are you referring to?

Read the title. It says "This is a debate, or a discussion thread, on whether "The Problem of Evil" is a valid argument against the existence of God," implying that the specified God is the Judeo-Christian God.
wiploc
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7/27/2012 8:24:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

That argument is phrased strangely, but we know this inescapably:

If evil exists, then no god exists who
- strongly, totally, infinitely unconflictedly opposes evil, and
- has the power and knowledge to prevent evil.

If evil exists, then no gods of that kind exist.

There are five possible relevant responses to the PoE (problem of evil):

1. No existing god is powerful enough prevent evil.
2. No existing god is smart/wise/knowing enough to prevent evil.
3. No existing god is strongly, totally, infinitely, unconflictedly opposed to evil.
4. Evil does not exist.
5. My faith may not be logical, but prefer faith to logic. Logic sucks.

I've seen all five moves used, but none of them refute the PoE.

You can say your god is too weak, ignorant, or vile to prevent evil, but that doesn't mean that the PoE is false. It actually corroborates the PoE. You're saying that IF your god were tri-omni, THEN there would be no evil; but he is not tri-omni, so evil can exist.

Likewise, you do not contradict the PoE by claiming that evil does not exist.

Nor do you refute the PoE by disowning logic. You're just admitting that your religion is illogical.

The PoE, therefore, is bulletproof.
Wnope
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7/27/2012 8:26:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
This is a debate, or a discussion thread, on whether "The Problem of Evil" is a valid argument against the existence of God.

Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

If God intentionally orders the death of over 1,000 thousand, would you consider it an act of "evil?"
TheFogHorn
Posts: 183
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7/27/2012 8:30:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You did not point out that you were discussing the Judeo Christian god. Why should I assume you were talking about that god when there are thousands of gods? Can you please be specific next time because the whole world has access to this forum and this world includes a lot of people who have never even heard of a Yahweh from Arabia or a Jesus from Palestine?
Paradox_7
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7/27/2012 8:39:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil, or has a purpose for evil, or he uses evil for good, or he has a morally sufficient reason for evil, or he knows more then we do, so it's pretty dumb to restrict God's existance on such biased and lame premises...? lol

Conclusion: Therefore, no atheistic concept of God exists.
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 8:39:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
@Wiploc

Exactly. I'll go through why I disagree with each of those refutations to the PoE, though, as I am bored. :p

1, 2, 3) God, implying the Judeo-Christian God, is, according to theologians (the Bible also supports that God is those qualities, I think, too) omniscient, omnipotent, and omni benevolent, thus this three refutations would go against his nature, and so *if* God existed, it would not be omniscient, omnipotent, or omnibenevolent.

The other two are foolish arguments, really.

@Wnope

Due to the definition of evil being morally wrong, yes.

@TheFogHorn

I assumed that it was clear that the specific God was based on the Judeo-Christian God. My aplogizes if I caused any confusion.
medic0506
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7/27/2012 8:50:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The PoE is not a valid argument against God because it simply presupposes that what we see as evil doesn't serve a greater overall purpose for humanity. Everything happens for a reason, even though we may not understand what that reason could be.
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 8:51:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:39:26 PM, Paradox_7 wrote:
1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil, or has a purpose for evil, or he uses evil for good, or he has a morally sufficient reason for evil, or he knows more then we do, so it's pretty dumb to restrict God's existance on such biased and lame premises...? lol

Conclusion: Therefore, no atheistic concept of God exists.

If God were truly omnibenevolent and omnipotent, would God continue to allow evil exist, when he is able to cause evil to *not* exist?
wiploc
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7/27/2012 8:56:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:30:29 PM, TheFogHorn wrote:
You did not point out that you were discussing the Judeo Christian god. Why should I assume you were talking about that god when there are thousands of gods? Can you please be specific next time because the whole world has access to this forum and this world includes a lot of people who have never even heard of a Yahweh from Arabia or a Jesus from Palestine?

The PoE deals only with gods who are omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and coexist with evil.

The OP explicitly says, "... As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)"

So your complaint is baseless.
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 9:02:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:50:06 PM, medic0506 wrote:
The PoE is not a valid argument against God because it simply presupposes that what we see as evil doesn't serve a greater overall purpose for humanity. Everything happens for a reason, even though we may not understand what that reason could be.

I have two issues with this.

1) This implies that some greater purpose would make the evil in this world good.

2) This would also interfere with the Judeo-Christian's God for omnipotency, as this implies God *plans* things, which contradicts him being all-knowing.
wiploc
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7/27/2012 9:10:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:50:06 PM, medic0506 wrote:
The PoE is not a valid argument against God because it simply presupposes that what we see as evil doesn't serve a greater overall purpose for humanity. Everything happens for a reason, even though we may not understand what that reason could be.

That's move #4: Evil does not exist.

It is not a refutation of the PoE because it is still true that if evil did exist, then a tri-omni god would not exist.
Lordknukle
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7/27/2012 9:19:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 7:37:25 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
At 7/27/2012 7:31:21 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
A way to look at it is let's assume a pit:

Is a pit just an absence of dirt or is it a real thing by itself?

I would think a pit would be a 'real' thing.

How can something be a "thing" if it's just a lack of a "thing?"

As the same premise would imply that a cave is simply a lack of rock, which is untrue.

Why?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 9:46:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 9:43:59 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Why does evil have to exist?

It doesn't. There is no reasonable claim that suggests evil is required.
TheFogHorn
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7/27/2012 10:02:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago

@TheFogHorn

I assumed that it was clear that the specific God was based on the Judeo-Christian God. My aplogizes if I caused any confusion.

Please tell me what you said in your OP that made clear the god discussed.
s-anthony
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7/27/2012 10:06:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 9:46:34 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
It doesn't. There is no reasonable claim that suggests evil is required.

I don't mean in the sense, that, St. Augustine said evil doesn't exist and, then, denounces everything as evil, for instance, sex outside of Christian marriage or an unbaptized infant. I mean why do we have to go around calling everything and everybody, evil, just because they don't live up to our idea of that which is good?
wiploc
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7/27/2012 10:09:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 9:43:59 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Why does evil have to exist?

Evil doesn't have to exist.

Nor does a god who would prevent evil have to exist.

But if you believe in both evil and a god who would prevent evil, then you are wrong.
Question_Mark
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7/27/2012 10:14:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 10:02:11 PM, TheFogHorn wrote:

@TheFogHorn

I assumed that it was clear that the specific God was based on the Judeo-Christian God. My aplogizes if I caused any confusion.

Please tell me what you said in your OP that made clear the god discussed.

"Existence of God" in the first sentence would be the first indicator.

Also, like Wiploc already said, there's this sentence: (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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7/27/2012 10:19:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 8:24:39 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 7/27/2012 6:40:42 PM, Question_Mark wrote:
Here is a basic outline of what this argument consists of (Taken from the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):

1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect. (As defined by Christian theologians and philosophers.)
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to elimiate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God does not have the power to eliminate all evil, or does not know when evil exists, or does not have the desire to eliminate all evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, God doesn't exist.

That argument is phrased strangely, but we know this inescapably:

If evil exists, then no god exists who
- strongly, totally, infinitely unconflictedly opposes evil, and
- has the power and knowledge to prevent evil.

If evil exists, then no gods of that kind exist.

There are five possible relevant responses to the PoE (problem of evil):

1. No existing god is powerful enough prevent evil.
2. No existing god is smart/wise/knowing enough to prevent evil.
3. No existing god is strongly, totally, infinitely, unconflictedly opposed to evil.
4. Evil does not exist.
5. My faith may not be logical, but prefer faith to logic. Logic sucks.

I've seen all five moves used, but none of them refute the PoE.

You can say your god is too weak, ignorant, or vile to prevent evil, but that doesn't mean that the PoE is false. It actually corroborates the PoE. You're saying that IF your god were tri-omni, THEN there would be no evil; but he is not tri-omni, so evil can exist.

Likewise, you do not contradict the PoE by claiming that evil does not exist.

Nor do you refute the PoE by disowning logic. You're just admitting that your religion is illogical.

The PoE, therefore, is bulletproof.

Try this:

Here's the problem with the problem of Evil. It presupposes the lack of a God. This is evident in the fact that it suggests that whatever conception there is of God must somehow be responsible for eradicating or preventing "evil." The only way God could have possibly done that is by refraining from creating existence. Given that "evil" is an aspect of "reality," then within the dogma of religion, God created evil indirectly by giving it the capacity to exist. This does not mean that God created or creates evil, although the Bible has literally suggested that God invited or established behaviors in humanity that He personally finds repulsive (like homosexuality), but it means that God left the capacity for others to create evil within the framework in which He caused them to exist.

From the vantage of Christians, evil is actually the absence of God, and that would need to exist if there is to be an existence distinct from God.

So, the Problem of Evil fails.
wiploc
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7/27/2012 11:05:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/27/2012 10:19:00 PM, Ren wrote:
At 7/27/2012 8:24:39 PM, wiploc wrote:
The PoE, therefore, is bulletproof.

Try this:

Here's the problem with the problem of Evil. It presupposes the lack of a God.

No, it just points out that if evil exists, then gods who are incompatible with evil do not exist.

This is evident in the fact that it suggests that whatever conception there is of God must somehow be responsible for eradicating or preventing "evil."

You've got it exactly backwards. The PoE doesn't say that gods have to prevent evil. It just says that---if evil exists---gods who do prevent evil are nonexistent.

The only way God could have possibly done that is by refraining from creating existence.

Or he'd have to be more powerful or smarter than you imagine.

Given that "evil" is an aspect of "reality," then within the dogma of religion, God created evil indirectly by giving it the capacity to exist. This does not mean that God created or creates evil, although the Bible has literally suggested that God invited or established behaviors in humanity that He personally finds repulsive (like homosexuality), but it means that God left the capacity for others to create evil within the framework in which He caused them to exist.

Blah blah. If evil exists, then those gods who wouldn't allow evil to exist are themselves nonexistent.

From the vantage of Christians, evil is actually the absence of God, and that would need to exist if there is to be an existence distinct from God.

So, the Problem of Evil fails.

If you're saying the Christian god isn't powerful enough, or smart enough, or opposed-to-evil enough to prevent evil, then you aren't contradicting the PoE.

Or, if you say that the Christian god is powerful enough to prevent all evil, and is also smart/knowing/wise enough to prevent all evil, and is also totally opposed to evil, then that's okay too, so long as you don't claim that evil exists.

But, if you say that god has the power, knowledge, and will to prevent evil, and that evil exists anyway, then you are just wrong.