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The PoE and the G.E. Moore shift

unitedandy
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4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?

Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.
EliAchphet
Posts: 12
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4/30/2013 11:55:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?


Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.

Pro or Con on the PoE?
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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4/30/2013 12:06:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:55:30 AM, EliAchphet wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?


Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.

Pro or Con on the PoE?

Pro
EliAchphet
Posts: 12
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4/30/2013 12:12:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 12:06:52 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:55:30 AM, EliAchphet wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?


Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.

Pro or Con on the PoE?

Pro

I am willing.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.
Magicr
Posts: 135
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4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is. And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?
Suqua
Posts: 433
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4/30/2013 11:06:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

limitations are yours, as we see by this response. The only move.........,if you adhere to these asumptions.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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4/30/2013 11:07:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is.

Any suffering. I'm an LPoE (logical problem of evil) kinda guy. Your EPoE (evidential problem of evil) actually could be beaten with a whatchamacallit, "successful ontological argument."

And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

No. To make that work, you'd have to have a punk god, not powerful enough to achieve two different goals. Or punk in that he's not smart/wise/knowing enough to use his power to get what he wants. "I told them to slice off the ends of their dinguses, and they still aren't happy? What is it going take?" Or he might not care whether we suffer. Or, of course there are the other two moves: "There is no suffering. You only think you're suffering because you're in the matrix," and, "Logic says that suffering is incompatible with tri-omni gods, but logic is overrated."

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

Not if words have meaning.
jharry
Posts: 4,984
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5/1/2013 3:08:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Lol, I see what you did there jigsaw.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/1/2013 9:16:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:07:55 PM, wiploc wrote:

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

Not if words have meaning.

I just want to say that this is worth at least a million internet points.
Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/1/2013 9:43:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:07:55 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is.

Any suffering. I'm an LPoE (logical problem of evil) kinda guy. Your EPoE (evidential problem of evil) actually could be beaten with a whatchamacallit, "successful ontological argument."

From that perspective, all suffering would be considered to be gratuitous.

And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

No. To make that work, you'd have to have a punk god, not powerful enough to achieve two different goals. Or punk in that he's not smart/wise/knowing enough to use his power to get what he wants. "I told them to slice off the ends of their dinguses, and they still aren't happy? What is it going take?" Or he might not care whether we suffer. Or, of course there are the other two moves: "There is no suffering. You only think you're suffering because you're in the matrix," and, "Logic says that suffering is incompatible with tri-omni gods, but logic is overrated."


Obviously a God must be limited by the rules of logic, otherwise we could not discuss this being logically. I think the real objection is that you assume that suffering is in conflict with morality.

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

Not if words have meaning.

This appears to be an is/ought problem. You're using the way we presently give words meaning to determine how we should give words meaning.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
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5/1/2013 10:20:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 9:43:12 AM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:07:55 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is.

Any suffering. I'm an LPoE (logical problem of evil) kinda guy. Your EPoE (evidential problem of evil) actually could be beaten with a whatchamacallit, "successful ontological argument."

From that perspective, all suffering would be considered to be gratuitous.

If you want to use EPoE terminology, then yes. It is clear that a god who had the power to prevent all suffering, and the knowledge to prevent all suffering, and the will to prevent all suffering, would prevent all suffering. Therefore, if there is any suffering, gods like that don't exist.

And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

No. To make that work, you'd have to have a punk god, not powerful enough to achieve two different goals. Or punk in that he's not smart/wise/knowing enough to use his power to get what he wants. "I told them to slice off the ends of their dinguses, and they still aren't happy? What is it going take?" Or he might not care whether we suffer. Or, of course there are the other two moves: "There is no suffering. You only think you're suffering because you're in the matrix," and, "Logic says that suffering is incompatible with tri-omni gods, but logic is overrated."


Obviously a God must be limited by the rules of logic, otherwise we could not discuss this being logically. I think the real objection is that you assume that suffering is in conflict with morality.

On the one hand, yes. If we're going to discuss it logically, we have to assume that it is logical.

On the other hand, if Jehovah can't violate logic, he must not be the first cause. There must be another bigger god who preceded him, and who created both Jehovah and logic. (This, of course, assumes you put stock in the first cause argument. If not, then you can make your god punk-omnipotent (unable to violate logic) with impunity.)

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

Not if words have meaning.

This appears to be an is/ought problem. You're using the way we presently give words meaning to determine how we should give words meaning.

No, it's an equivocation problem. If your claim is refuted, and you can't do any better than, "You're assuming my claim had meaning," then you should quit making that claim.

In any case, the PoE is bulletproof regardless of what meaning you give the word "evil."

Example: Evil = Blue.

That gives us these definitions:

Evil is blue.
Good is any and all colors other than blue.
Benevolent is the desire to prevent blue, and to cause other colors.
Omnibenevolent is the strong, infinite, pure, unconflicted desire to prevent blue, and to cause other colors.

An omnipotent god would be able to prevent all blue.
An omniscient god would be smart/knowing/clever enough to prevent all blue.
An omnibenevolent god would strongly, infinitely, unconflictedly desire to prevent all blue.
There is blue in this world, the real world.
Therefore, tri-omni gods do not exist in the real world.

See, bulletproof. There aren't two sides to this.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,500
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5/1/2013 10:43:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, ....

Personally, I don't see how PoE is a problem for theists in particular. The PoE is just as paradoxical (or more so) for the non-theist: Why should the natural product of a natural world consider certain things "wrong"? It seems to me that admitting natural events can somehow be evil is at least to admit to the metaphysical.
This space for rent.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/1/2013 10:45:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 10:43:06 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, ....

Personally, I don't see how PoE is a problem for theists in particular. The PoE is just as paradoxical (or more so) for the non-theist: Why should the natural product of a natural world consider certain things "wrong"? It seems to me that admitting natural events can somehow be evil is at least to admit to the metaphysical.

I'd be interested in seeing your non-theistic POE outlined.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,500
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5/1/2013 11:02:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 10:45:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 10:43:06 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, ....

Personally, I don't see how PoE is a problem for theists in particular. The PoE is just as paradoxical (or more so) for the non-theist: Why should the natural product of a natural world consider certain things "wrong"? It seems to me that admitting natural events can somehow be evil is at least to admit to the metaphysical.

I'd be interested in seeing your non-theistic POE outlined.

I don't know what you are asking. Do you see that the concept of evil cannot be explained by physics? Molecules are neither good nor bad, they just bump into each other.
This space for rent.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 11:02:40 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 10:45:10 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 10:43:06 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, ....

Personally, I don't see how PoE is a problem for theists in particular. The PoE is just as paradoxical (or more so) for the non-theist: Why should the natural product of a natural world consider certain things "wrong"? It seems to me that admitting natural events can somehow be evil is at least to admit to the metaphysical.

I'd be interested in seeing your non-theistic POE outlined.

I don't know what you are asking.

Take an outline of the Theistic POE and reword it to make it a non-theistic POE.

Do you see that the concept of evil cannot be explained by physics? Molecules are neither good nor bad, they just bump into each other.

I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.
v3nesl
Posts: 4,500
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5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.
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Magicr
Posts: 135
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5/1/2013 11:24:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 10:20:28 AM, wiploc wrote:
At 5/1/2013 9:43:12 AM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:07:55 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is.

Any suffering. I'm an LPoE (logical problem of evil) kinda guy. Your EPoE (evidential problem of evil) actually could be beaten with a whatchamacallit, "successful ontological argument."

From that perspective, all suffering would be considered to be gratuitous.

If you want to use EPoE terminology, then yes. It is clear that a god who had the power to prevent all suffering, and the knowledge to prevent all suffering, and the will to prevent all suffering, would prevent all suffering. Therefore, if there is any suffering, gods like that don't exist.

And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

No. To make that work, you'd have to have a punk god, not powerful enough to achieve two different goals. Or punk in that he's not smart/wise/knowing enough to use his power to get what he wants. "I told them to slice off the ends of their dinguses, and they still aren't happy? What is it going take?" Or he might not care whether we suffer. Or, of course there are the other two moves: "There is no suffering. You only think you're suffering because you're in the matrix," and, "Logic says that suffering is incompatible with tri-omni gods, but logic is overrated."


Obviously a God must be limited by the rules of logic, otherwise we could not discuss this being logically. I think the real objection is that you assume that suffering is in conflict with morality.

On the one hand, yes. If we're going to discuss it logically, we have to assume that it is logical.

On the other hand, if Jehovah can't violate logic, he must not be the first cause. There must be another bigger god who preceded him, and who created both Jehovah and logic. (This, of course, assumes you put stock in the first cause argument. If not, then you can make your god punk-omnipotent (unable to violate logic) with impunity.)


Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

Not if words have meaning.

This appears to be an is/ought problem. You're using the way we presently give words meaning to determine how we should give words meaning.

No, it's an equivocation problem. If your claim is refuted, and you can't do any better than, "You're assuming my claim had meaning," then you should quit making that claim.

In any case, the PoE is bulletproof regardless of what meaning you give the word "evil."

Example: Evil = Blue.

That gives us these definitions:

Evil is blue.
Good is any and all colors other than blue.
Benevolent is the desire to prevent blue, and to cause other colors.
Omnibenevolent is the strong, infinite, pure, unconflicted desire to prevent blue, and to cause other colors.

An omnipotent god would be able to prevent all blue.
An omniscient god would be smart/knowing/clever enough to prevent all blue.
An omnibenevolent god would strongly, infinitely, unconflictedly desire to prevent all blue.
There is blue in this world, the real world.
Therefore, tri-omni gods do not exist in the real world.

See, bulletproof. There aren't two sides to this.

But, on what grounds to you claim that evil= suffering?
Apeiron
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5/1/2013 11:45:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Hahahaha nice fantasy bud.
Apeiron
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5/1/2013 11:47:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?


Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.

I'd offer a debate on skeptical theism, but it seems like others are willing. Anyhow I noted before you thought the PoE would undercut the OA somehow... any reason for the change of mind?
drafterman
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5/1/2013 11:52:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.

Then why are you saying there is?
SovereignDream
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5/1/2013 12:03:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

What about Plantinga's free will defense?
v3nesl
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5/1/2013 12:29:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 11:52:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.

Then why are you saying there is?

Maybe we need to clarify: I'm understanding you to say that humans invented evil, it only exists in human perception. I'm of the opinion that evil is a metaphysical quality of sentient action and experience, just as gravity is a quality of the physical world. We give evil a name, but did not invent the concept, we discovered it. I just pointed out that it's a paradoxical sort of thing, actually more puzzling to naturalists than theists, so it sort of factors off both sides of the equation. It's not an argument against the existence of a creator, just a puzzling thing. I no more know why it has to hurt so much than I know why the gravitational constant is what it is, but I don't see either as an argument against God.

What you have to answer, from your [presumed] naturalist perspective, is why nature should not simply be what it is. How can F=ma be "evil" when it's a hammer on your finger, when it's the exact same F=ma when you hit the nail? What is different in "evil", from a physics perspective?
This space for rent.
drafterman
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5/1/2013 12:33:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 12:29:26 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:52:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.

Then why are you saying there is?

Maybe we need to clarify: I'm understanding you to say that humans invented evil, it only exists in human perception. I'm of the opinion that evil is a metaphysical quality of sentient action and experience, just as gravity is a quality of the physical world. We give evil a name, but did not invent the concept, we discovered it.

No, we invented the concept. Without humans, there would be no evil.

I just pointed out that it's a paradoxical sort of thing, actually more puzzling to naturalists than theists, so it sort of factors off both sides of the equation.

I don't see that you've actually pointed it out. This is why I asked for a logical outline demonstrating this.

It's not an argument against the existence of a creator, just a puzzling thing. I no more know why it has to hurt so much than I know why the gravitational constant is what it is, but I don't see either as an argument against God.

What you have to answer, from your [presumed] naturalist perspective, is why nature should not simply be what it is. How can F=ma be "evil" when it's a hammer on your finger, when it's the exact same F=ma when you hit the nail? What is different in "evil", from a physics perspective?

No one says that either of those things are "evil." Choose a better example.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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5/1/2013 12:43:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is. And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

According to your logic I could rape your mother and sister tonight, but you cannot say this is wrong as I could have morally sufficient reasons you are just aware of. This views is outrageous.


Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

This would lead to the conclusion that God could rape six children and bath in their tears and blood and this would be good. This view of yours, would make the distinction between good actions, and bad actions blurred beyond reason.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/1/2013 12:45:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/30/2013 8:34:12 PM, Magicr wrote:
At 4/30/2013 5:53:29 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE.

No, the PoE is logically bulletproof. Nothing can counter it. The only moves the theist can make are these:

1. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that powerful.
2. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that knowing.
3. Okay, the tri-omni god doesn't exist, but the god I believe in isn't that benevolent.
: 4. Yes, a tri-omni god would prevent suffering, but there is no suffering. Or,
5. My belief is illogical, but I believe it still.

Gratuitous suffering, that is. And I think therein lies the rub. For is it not an appeal to ignorance to claim that that a God could have no morally superior reason for allowing certain suffering?

Additionally, if we look at God as a maximally great being with tri-omni properties, could it not be argued that because God is maximally good, whatever he does/causes/allows/etc. is therefore good?

(correction)

*According to your logic I could rape your mother and sister tonight, but you cannot say this is wrong as I could have morally sufficient reasons you are just not aware of. This view is outrageous.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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5/1/2013 1:05:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 11:47:46 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 4/30/2013 11:38:27 AM, unitedandy wrote:
One of the more promising, (and sadly, for various reasons) least discussed responses to the Problem of evil (PoE) is the so-called G.E Moore shift. Because I've never had to dealt with it in a debate before, I thought I'd just raise a quick objection to it here.

Okay, the basic idea is that even conceding for the sake of argument that the PoE constitutes powerful evidence against theism, the theist can still reject the conclusion, based on the totality of evidence concerning theism. Perhaps an analogy will suffice.

Let's say we decide to calculate the probability of Dave having an IQ of >140. The epistemic probability (relative to our background info) would be less than 2%. In other words, it is highly unlikely, all else being equal, Dave will have an IQ of higher than 140. Suppose we subsequently find out that Dave is in Mensa, whose members all have IQs in or around this top quotient. What was initially was very improbable becomes much more likely, given the increase in information.

So, says the theist, God's existence, relative to the totality of evidence, augments the probability of the PoE, making God likely, even if one has reason to give credence to the PoE.

The problem?

Apart from the obvious responses (like denying the evidence for theism), it seems to me very few arguments (even if they were sound) could undermine the PoE in this way (at least as I run it). One could just argue that an omnipotent AND wholly good God doesn't exist.

Take teleology. Nothing about this would make God BOTH omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Pretty much much every evidential argument is the same. Unless an argument (or several) necessitates we conclude, for example, omnipotence (as opposed to just very powerful, and so on), the evidence would still point to a non-maximal being, if you like. At best, the evidence would be inconclusive.

A successful ontological argument would completely wipe out the PoE. Obviously, there are far more ambitious responses (that would involve contesting the case for theism), but this struck me when thinking about the shift Rowe actually identifies as the biggest challenge to his argument.

Thoughts?


Oh, and before I forget, I'm planning to get back to debating with free time next week. If anybody wants a debate on Skeptical theism or the PoE, give me a bell.

I'd offer a debate on skeptical theism, but it seems like others are willing. Anyhow I noted before you thought the PoE would undercut the OA somehow... any reason for the change of mind?

I don't think I have changed my mind. There are 2 issues:

1. Is it logically possible for the OA to undercut the PoE?

I'd say yes. But . . .

2. Is it feasible (or likely)?

Absolutely not. There's just no way I could ever see the OA being more convincing than the PoE. Even theists who defend the OA wouldn't claim as much, I'd suspect.
v3nesl
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5/1/2013 1:09:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 12:33:05 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 12:29:26 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:52:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.

Then why are you saying there is?

Maybe we need to clarify: I'm understanding you to say that humans invented evil, it only exists in human perception. I'm of the opinion that evil is a metaphysical quality of sentient action and experience, just as gravity is a quality of the physical world. We give evil a name, but did not invent the concept, we discovered it.

No, we invented the concept. Without humans, there would be no evil.

Then I don't see how it can be an argument for or against God, per se. So we made something up - how does that suggest there is no God? If anything, the ability to create once again points to the metaphysical, at the least.
This space for rent.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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5/1/2013 1:18:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/1/2013 1:09:52 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 12:33:05 PM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 12:29:26 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:52:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:14:44 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 5/1/2013 11:08:48 AM, drafterman wrote:
...
I don't see why that is either here or there. Nothing about physics forbids humans from developing the concept of evil.

Well, if humans developed the concept of evil, then it's no more a 'problem' than the concept of 4/4 time in music.

Then why are you saying there is?

Maybe we need to clarify: I'm understanding you to say that humans invented evil, it only exists in human perception. I'm of the opinion that evil is a metaphysical quality of sentient action and experience, just as gravity is a quality of the physical world. We give evil a name, but did not invent the concept, we discovered it.

No, we invented the concept. Without humans, there would be no evil.

Then I don't see how it can be an argument for or against God, per se. So we made something up - how does that suggest there is no God?

Because if the tri-Omni-God existed, then there would be nothing for us to attach the label of evil to.

If anything, the ability to create once again points to the metaphysical, at the least.

How so?