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Refutations to the PoE

DakotaKrafick
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4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?
unitedandy
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4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

I don't find it remotely plausible for many reasons, but theists seem attached to it, for some reason.
Apeiron
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4/6/2013 6:27:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM, unitedandy wrote:
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

I don't find it remotely plausible for many reasons, but theists seem attached to it, for some reason.

It's plausible if you think of the fact that even if God existed, we have no reason whatever to that we would somehow have access to God's morally sufficient reasons anyhow. So that any argument against God's existence from not being able to discern a morally sufficient reason isn't really saying anything interesting.
DakotaKrafick
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4/6/2013 6:29:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM, unitedandy wrote:
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

That's the (A) objection I outlined above, that currently-existing evil may not be gratuitous in that there could be some future advantage which requires it. But what kind of an "omnipotent" deity can only achieve some goal by one method (a method involving the existence of evil, no less).
unitedandy
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4/6/2013 6:43:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:27:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM, unitedandy wrote:
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

I don't find it remotely plausible for many reasons, but theists seem attached to it, for some reason.

It's plausible if you think of the fact that even if God existed, we have no reason whatever to that we would somehow have access to God's morally sufficient reasons anyhow. So that any argument against God's existence from not being able to discern a morally sufficient reason isn't really saying anything interesting.

All the other points to raise to this notwithstanding, why even agree to the basic point? If God does have a morally sufficient reason for E, why is it always hidden? This just gives even more weight to the hiddenness argument. And the nosee'um point in one point in version of the gratuitous evils argument (admittedly a compelling one, but let's not pretend defeating this point defeats the problem).

Sceptical Theism, if one reads the literature, is heavily criticised, even by theists. It doesn't seem to be justifiable and it causes huge problems all over the map. And I think it's very easily sidestepped in any case. The fact that it seems (at least from personal experience and reading) to be one of, if not the primary objection to the PoE speaks volumes for how thorny a problem evil remains to be.
Apeiron
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4/6/2013 7:46:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:43:40 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:27:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM, unitedandy wrote:
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

I don't find it remotely plausible for many reasons, but theists seem attached to it, for some reason.

It's plausible if you think of the fact that even if God existed, we have no reason whatever to that we would somehow have access to God's morally sufficient reasons anyhow. So that any argument against God's existence from not being able to discern a morally sufficient reason isn't really saying anything interesting.

All the other points to raise to this notwithstanding, why even agree to the basic point? If God does have a morally sufficient reason for E, why is it always hidden?

Ultimately fundamental reality is hidden from us, why think we would know other parts of reality given God's existence?

This just gives even more weight to the hiddenness argument.

Or rather more weight for the atheist to shoulder.

And the nosee'um point in one point in version of the gratuitous evils argument (admittedly a compelling one, but let's not pretend defeating this point defeats the problem).

I don't know what this means.


Sceptical Theism, if one reads the literature, is heavily criticised, even by theists. It doesn't seem to be justifiable and it causes huge problems all over the map.

You always say this, and yet I still find no problems with tempering our inductions according to our epistemic position.

And I think it's very easily sidestepped in any case. The fact that it seems (at least from personal experience and reading) to be one of, if not the primary objection to the PoE speaks volumes for how thorny a problem evil remains to be.

It's only thorny because it's an existential, not theoretical, problem. But existential problems don't prove or disprove anything! Hence any theoretical inductive version of the PoE is an inflated argument. The thorniness is existential.
Apeiron
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4/6/2013 8:45:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 7:54:10 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Apeiron, what is, to you, the strongest objection to the PoE?

To me I think my own "existential placement of the PoE" is the greatest defeater. For those who understand philosophy, it shows that evil and suffering as such are fundamentally existential problems, which makes the conclusion of the theoretical argument inflated, and therefore fallacious... but this is a complex argument that one must sort of existentially see when one goes through and comes out of a time of suffering.

But since the theist can argue that the existential virtue are greater in knowing God, then such virtues dwarf whatever suffering we go through in this life.

I also can't get past my own suspicion that evil and suffering has much to do with humanity's forfeit of the world and our fall away from God into sin.

If Christianity is true, then this fall had major implications in our world. When one talks of the very worst sort of evils that God would allow it normally always boils down to natural evils, diseases, earthquakes, etc. But I think that the events that produce natural evils inevitably occur just as a part of nature, which were necessary for our evolution, and what happened is that human persons lost an ability to protect themselves from these events when the first humans sinned (made an unjust-good-seeking self-forming choice).

See van Inwagen 1988, pp. 168"71

http://andrewmbailey.com...

And see Lewis 1962, chap. 5

You may think this is question begging but only if we took the form of the argument,

1) If God exists, gratuitous evils do not
2) gratuitous evils exist
3) therefore, ~theism

But since one man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens,

4) If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist
5) God exists
6) Therefore, gratuitous evil does not exist

...then the conclusion which follows from 4, which is the same in both the atheist and the theist"s arguments, will depend on whether 5 has the greater warrant

So this means that by virtue of our separation from God, we lost a certain faculty in our sense of the divine which would have us so communed with God that we would know, as one knows the mood of their loved-one, how to live, etc. As John Calvin put it,

"There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity ... a sense of divinity which can never be effaced is engraved upon men"s minds."
-Calvin, Institutes 1.2.1, 3

This sense of the divine or sensus divinitatus, (SensusD) is a sort of mental faculty that produces theistic beliefs in a wide variety perhaps including a theistic belief of, "God doesn't want your people to possess this land because it's filled with evolving bacteria." The SensusD therefore is a set of dispositions to form theistic beliefs in various circumstances.

These circumstances / stimuli trigger its working. And just as perceptual beliefs aren"t based on arguments from more basic beliefs, they arise spontaneously when one"s in the circumstances of, say, being appeared to redly... so likewise, the belief "God exists" or "God forbids our eating of that apple" arises spontaneously in appropriate circumstances: Times of guilt, awe of nature, etc- all as a result of sensus divinitatus" function.

Plangtinga argues that warrant inherently involves properly functioning cognitive faculties or noetics. And our noetics are functioning properly only if they"re functioning in the way they"re designed- And properly functioning in the particular environment they were designed for.. He says,

"God has so constituted us that we naturally form this belief under certain circumstances; since the belief is formed by functioning noetics in an appropriate environment, it is warranted for us, and, insofar as our cognitive faculties aren"t disrupted by the noetic effects of sin, we shall believe this proposition deeply and firmly, so that we can be said, in virtue of the great warrant accruing to this belief for us to know God exists."

He means to know God exists here but presumably other things such as that which would have us avoid disaster. But the noetic effects of sin hinder that sense of the divine.

On Christian Theism, God provided a way for our broken selves to re-commune with God, Christ after his resurrection told his disciples,

"But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

The Advocate here is translated as the Helper, or the Holy Spirit.

So in this way, the SensusD is coupled with the instigation of the Holy Spirit... Our fall into sin and away from God had disastrous cognitive and affective consequences. Our sense of the divine was deformed and its deliverances muted, our affections skewed. We resist what deliverances of this sense of the divine remain: being self-centered rather than God-oriented. Here, the Advocate comes into play. Plantinga again,

"God in his grace needed to find a way to inform us of the plan of salvation that he has made available, and he has chosen to do so by means of (1) the Scriptures, inspired by him and laying out the great truths of the gospel, (2) the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in repairing the cognitive and affective damage of sin, thereby enabling us to grasp and believe the great truths of the gospel, and (3) faith, which is the principal work of the Holy Spirit produced in believers" hearts."

So here the Advocate produces in a person, who"s informed of the gospel, assent to its truth if he"s willing. The Advocate is thus a source of belief, a cognitive process that produces in us gospel belief. Thus the Advocate is a belief forming mechanism-analogue to the sensus divinitatus.

Now it's apparent in Christianity that God's goal is not to make a safe haven for his pets, but rather to elect folks who are willing to turn to him, and to have knowledge of him through the help of the Advocate.
Apeiron
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4/6/2013 8:57:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So in answer to your question, I think the best answer to the PoE is doing natural theology- seeking God. Perhaps this is one possible answer for why so much evil is allowed... It certainly plays a huge role in shaking us out of our lethargy to seek God, I'm sure he can handle us banging on his door in the name of injustice rather than politely ringing the door-bell in the name of tea and crumpets if only for the sake of wanting to know him.
Apeiron
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4/6/2013 8:59:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 8:57:00 PM, Apeiron wrote:
So in answer to your question, I think the best answer to the PoE is doing natural theology- seeking God. Perhaps this is one possible answer for why so much evil is allowed... It certainly plays a huge role in shaking us out of our lethargy to seek God, I'm sure he can handle us banging on his door in the name of injustice rather than politely ringing the door-bell in the name of tea and crumpets if only for the sake of wanting to know him.

Regard that movie the Grey with Liam Neeson. I won't tell you the ending but the whole time Neeson's character never acknowledged God until the suffering became too overwhelming, too much NOT to cry out to God and demand answers. When finally he did, he got his life's answer shortly after... and it was epic.
Radar
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4/6/2013 10:00:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?

The question makes has many hidden assumptions to be meaningful, not the least of which is that the material universe is real.
Radar
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4/6/2013 10:04:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 10:00:20 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?


The question has too many hidden assumptions to be meaningful, not the least of which is that it assumes the material universe is real.

It's so meaningless, in fact, that I didn't bother to review my last post. ;)
DakotaKrafick
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4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 10:04:20 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:00:20 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?


The question has too many hidden assumptions to be meaningful, not the least of which is that it assumes the material universe is real.

It's so meaningless, in fact, that I didn't bother to review my last post. ;)

...excuse me?
Radar
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4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.
popculturepooka
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4/7/2013 12:34:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.

This post has nothing to do with the PoE.
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Radar
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4/7/2013 12:35:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/7/2013 12:34:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.

This post has nothing to do with the PoE.

It has everything to do with your PoV.
Composer
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4/7/2013 12:58:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 8:57:00 PM, Apeiron wrote:
So in answer to your question, I think the best answer to the PoE is doing natural theology- seeking God. Perhaps this is one possible answer for why so much evil is allowed... It certainly plays a huge role in shaking us out of our lethargy to seek God, I'm sure he can handle us banging on his door in the name of injustice rather than politely ringing the door-bell in the name of tea and crumpets if only for the sake of wanting to know him.

IF you actually knew the contents of the bible Story book, you would know that the culprit for ALL the nasties is Story book god - Col. 1:16 bible Story book
muzebreak
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4/7/2013 2:49:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.

You either have no actually clue what they are talking about, or you are simply trying to misconstrue it to show a point.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Smithereens
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4/7/2013 2:51:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Evil exists to allow free-will to exist. We can choose whatever we want, good or bad, instead of being forced to do only good things. An omni-benevolent God would allow Evil to exist as a consequence, as an omnibenevolent God is also Omni-just.
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Radar
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4/7/2013 3:30:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/7/2013 2:49:48 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.

You either have no actually clue what they are talking about, or you are simply trying to misconstrue it to show a point.

Finger...moon.
atheismo
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4/7/2013 3:50:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
problem of evil = bullet proof.

morally sufficient reason? why cant God do it without needing evil?
epistmic position? well it seems that way to me no maetter what position i'm in

God doesnt seem very omni - benvelent to me, if he allows the holocause to happen to his "chosen people" of Israel
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan
Pennington
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4/7/2013 3:59:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/7/2013 3:50:43 AM, atheismo wrote:
problem of evil = bullet proof.

morally sufficient reason? why cant God do it without needing evil?
epistmic position? well it seems that way to me no maetter what position i'm in

God doesnt seem very omni - benvelent to me, if he allows the holocause to happen to his "chosen people" of Israel

Nothing but fallacies.

If we have free-will and choice then how could we have that if we did not have the choice to not choose God? If God appeared and done visual miracles then would have no choice of faith or non-believing. Evil does not exist because of God, evil exist because He allowed us freedom to choose against Him. That is true love, to allow you to be free to choose to die. God could have made everything perfect always but that is not free-will. That is force. That is not love.
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unitedandy
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4/7/2013 4:20:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 7:46:37 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:43:40 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:27:15 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:21:18 PM, unitedandy wrote:
The main objection seems to be some variant of Sceptical Theism:

Due to our cognitive limitations (especially as compared to an omniscient being), we are in no position (and presumably never will be) to ever confirm that any evil E really is gratuitous.

I don't find it remotely plausible for many reasons, but theists seem attached to it, for some reason.

It's plausible if you think of the fact that even if God existed, we have no reason whatever to that we would somehow have access to God's morally sufficient reasons anyhow. So that any argument against God's existence from not being able to discern a morally sufficient reason isn't really saying anything interesting.

All the other points to raise to this notwithstanding, why even agree to the basic point? If God does have a morally sufficient reason for E, why is it always hidden?

Ultimately fundamental reality is hidden from us, why think we would know other parts of reality given God's existence?


Well, God's existence isn't a given here, but that aside, there are reasons to think appearances are generally the way things are. For one, it would seem deceptive for God to do otherwise. Second, the lack of a morally sufficient reason forth coming is itself an evil, and increases suffering. Third, again with the problem of nonbelief.

This just gives even more weight to the hiddenness argument.

Or rather more weight for the atheist to shoulder.

And the nosee'um point in one point in version of the gratuitous evils argument (admittedly a compelling one, but let's not pretend defeating this point defeats the problem).

I don't know what this means.

It means ST aims at one point in one version of the argument. It's limited in scope.


Sceptical Theism, if one reads the literature, is heavily criticised, even by theists. It doesn't seem to be justifiable and it causes huge problems all over the map.

You always say this, and yet I still find no problems with tempering our inductions according to our epistemic position.


The problem is either the theist provides some robust criteria which includes evil, or ots obviously special pleading.
And I think it's very easily sidestepped in any case. The fact that it seems (at least from personal experience and reading) to be one of, if not the primary objection to the PoE speaks volumes for how thorny a problem evil remains to be.

It's only thorny because it's an existential, not theoretical, problem. But existential problems don't prove or disprove anything! Hence any theoretical inductive version of the PoE is an inflated argument. The thorniness is existential.

Look at the conclusion of the argument. It obviously does put theism in trouble, if plausible. This point about it being existential (and I assume you're meaning an emotional problem) is just an assertion. It also sounds like a circumstantial ad hom to me.

Indeed, I could run the point the same way. People in foxholes need to think this isn't the end and so forth. But it makes no difference. Either gratuitous evil exists, or it doesn't or we don't know. Our emotional state makes no diference to the truth (or not) of the argument.
muzebreak
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4/7/2013 5:58:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/7/2013 3:30:56 AM, Radar wrote:
At 4/7/2013 2:49:48 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 4/6/2013 11:41:39 PM, Radar wrote:
At 4/6/2013 10:09:06 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:

...excuse me?

I'm sorry, but every time I see someone bring up the PoE, I can't help but think there is someone who is either so incredibly self-centered he or she wants God to be a butler, or never seriously contemplated infinity and eternity without letting their thoughts get in the way.

I'm gonna do a little copy/paste from http://www.technewsworld.com....

"Drawing upon the Holographic Principle, the premise behind the Fermilab project is that space is two dimensional, and that the third dimension is inextricably linked with time. If that's the case, our 3D world is merely an approximate illusion.

"Assuming that's true, the illusion is likely imperfect and blurry, just as photographs and videos are, especially when viewed on a granular level. Such imperfection would introduce "a particular kind of noise or jitter into spacetime, as measured by the propagation of light in different directions," the Fermilab explains."

The emphasis is mine and the science real. Just how "granular" is our view? This corresponds very, very well with mysticism found in every religion, East and West.

You either have no actually clue what they are talking about, or you are simply trying to misconstrue it to show a point.

Finger...moon.

What?
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
matt.mcguire88
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4/7/2013 8:05:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 8:45:10 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/6/2013 7:54:10 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
Apeiron, what is, to you, the strongest objection to the PoE?

To me I think my own "existential placement of the PoE" is the greatest defeater. For those who understand philosophy, it shows that evil and suffering as such are fundamentally existential problems, which makes the conclusion of the theoretical argument inflated, and therefore fallacious... but this is a complex argument that one must sort of existentially see when one goes through and comes out of a time of suffering.

But since the theist can argue that the existential virtue are greater in knowing God, then such virtues dwarf whatever suffering we go through in this life.

I also can't get past my own suspicion that evil and suffering has much to do with humanity's forfeit of the world and our fall away from God into sin.

If Christianity is true, then this fall had major implications in our world. When one talks of the very worst sort of evils that God would allow it normally always boils down to natural evils, diseases, earthquakes, etc. But I think that the events that produce natural evils inevitably occur just as a part of nature, which were necessary for our evolution, and what happened is that human persons lost an ability to protect themselves from these events when the first humans sinned (made an unjust-good-seeking self-forming choice).

See van Inwagen 1988, pp. 168"71

http://andrewmbailey.com...

And see Lewis 1962, chap. 5


You may think this is question begging but only if we took the form of the argument,

1) If God exists, gratuitous evils do not
2) gratuitous evils exist
3) therefore, ~theism

But since one man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens,

4) If God exists, gratuitous evil does not exist
5) God exists
6) Therefore, gratuitous evil does not exist

...then the conclusion which follows from 4, which is the same in both the atheist and the theist"s arguments, will depend on whether 5 has the greater warrant

So this means that by virtue of our separation from God, we lost a certain faculty in our sense of the divine which would have us so communed with God that we would know, as one knows the mood of their loved-one, how to live, etc. As John Calvin put it,

"There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity ... a sense of divinity which can never be effaced is engraved upon men"s minds."
-Calvin, Institutes 1.2.1, 3

This sense of the divine or sensus divinitatus, (SensusD) is a sort of mental faculty that produces theistic beliefs in a wide variety perhaps including a theistic belief of, "God doesn't want your people to possess this land because it's filled with evolving bacteria." The SensusD therefore is a set of dispositions to form theistic beliefs in various circumstances.

These circumstances / stimuli trigger its working. And just as perceptual beliefs aren"t based on arguments from more basic beliefs, they arise spontaneously when one"s in the circumstances of, say, being appeared to redly... so likewise, the belief "God exists" or "God forbids our eating of that apple" arises spontaneously in appropriate circumstances: Times of guilt, awe of nature, etc- all as a result of sensus divinitatus" function.

Plangtinga argues that warrant inherently involves properly functioning cognitive faculties or noetics. And our noetics are functioning properly only if they"re functioning in the way they"re designed- And properly functioning in the particular environment they were designed for.. He says,

"God has so constituted us that we naturally form this belief under certain circumstances; since the belief is formed by functioning noetics in an appropriate environment, it is warranted for us, and, insofar as our cognitive faculties aren"t disrupted by the noetic effects of sin, we shall believe this proposition deeply and firmly, so that we can be said, in virtue of the great warrant accruing to this belief for us to know God exists."

He means to know God exists here but presumably other things such as that which would have us avoid disaster. But the noetic effects of sin hinder that sense of the divine.

On Christian Theism, God provided a way for our broken selves to re-commune with God, Christ after his resurrection told his disciples,

"But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you."

The Advocate here is translated as the Helper, or the Holy Spirit.

So in this way, the SensusD is coupled with the instigation of the Holy Spirit... Our fall into sin and away from God had disastrous cognitive and affective consequences. Our sense of the divine was deformed and its deliverances muted, our affections skewed. We resist what deliverances of this sense of the divine remain: being self-centered rather than God-oriented. Here, the Advocate comes into play. Plantinga again,

"God in his grace needed to find a way to inform us of the plan of salvation that he has made available, and he has chosen to do so by means of (1) the Scriptures, inspired by him and laying out the great truths of the gospel, (2) the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in repairing the cognitive and affective damage of sin, thereby enabling us to grasp and believe the great truths of the gospel, and (3) faith, which is the principal work of the Holy Spirit produced in believers" hearts."

So here the Advocate produces in a person, who"s informed of the gospel, assent to its truth if he"s willing. The Advocate is thus a source of belief, a cognitive process that produces in us gospel belief. Thus the Advocate is a belief forming mechanism-analogue to the sensus divinitatus.

Now it's apparent in Christianity that God's goal is not to make a safe haven for his pets, but rather to elect folks who are willing to turn to him, and to have knowledge of him through the help of the Advocate.

There's alot of good stuff here, It's refreshing to read material that is sound and balanced.
Rational_Thinker9119
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4/7/2013 8:36:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Ya, I still haven't found a defeater to the PoE. God can get any goal he wants accomplished without suffering, so we are still left with no good reason why he allows this.
AlbinoBunny
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4/7/2013 8:55:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?

"gra"tu"i"tous
/grəG2;t(y)oV2;oitəs/
Adjective
Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.
Given or done free of charge.
Synonyms
free - gratis - costless - free of charge"

What is 'good reason'? How do you know it is without 'good reason'? What is 'evil'? What is 'wholly good'?

Should be base our "moral code" on the supposed God's "moral code" or should that God base their "moral code" on ours?
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muzebreak
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4/7/2013 9:03:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/7/2013 8:55:42 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 4/6/2013 6:13:33 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I really want to hear a strong refutation to the PoE. I know there are many variations of the argument, but for the sake of starting this thread, I'll offer this one (let me know if you guys feel there is a better formulation of it):

(1) Gratuitous evil exists.
(2) If a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being exists, gratuitous evil does not exist.
(3) Therefore, a wholly good, omnipotent, and omniscient being does not exist.

The only refutations I hear are becoming banal. I hear two main objections: (A) there could be some future advantage which requires the current existence of evil, or (B) interfering with the existence of evil would diminish some aspects of human free will. I find neither of these objections particularly powerful; if (A) is true, in that God cannot bring about said advantage without the existence of evil, then he is not omnipotent (can it be shown that doing so would contradict his nature?) and (B) prioritizes the free will of criminals over the protection of victims (good thing our police forces don't use this argument).

Are there any stronger objections to the problem of evil?

"gra"tu"i"tous
/grəG2;t(y)oV2;oitəs/
Adjective
Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.
Given or done free of charge.
Synonyms
free - gratis - costless - free of charge"

What is 'good reason'? How do you know it is without 'good reason'? What is 'evil'? What is 'wholly good'?

Should be base our "moral code" on the supposed God's "moral code" or should that God base their "moral code" on ours?

A small child is taken from a village in a third world country. She is taken to a brothel, used day in and day out. She is starved, tortured, and desecrated. When she reaches the point where she looks to old, she is killed.

What good comes from this situation?
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.