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Modal Argument From evil

Rational_Thinker9119
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11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/11/2013 9:26:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/10/2013 11:57:55 PM, stubs wrote:
Can you define gratuitous suffering. I'm not sure if I agree with P1.

Gratuitous suffering is simply suffering without morally good reasons for it. God is conceived of as omnibenevolent. Thus, if there exists suffering, then there has to be a morally sufficient reason for it if God exists. This is not controversial and virtually all theists accept this. I am in the middle of a debate right now on the Modal Ontological Argument with a Christian who strongly affirms that gratuitous suffering and God are incompatible:

"Gratuitous suffering would contradict the character of an omnibenevolent being." - Majesty85 [http://www.debate.org...]

Craig and Plantinga I think both concede this as well. As Christian philosopher Daniel Howard-Snyder states:

"[T]he idea that God may well permit gratuitous evil is absurd. After all, if God can get what He wants without permitting some particular horror (or anything comparably bad), why on earth would He permit it?" - Daniel Howard-Snyder [Howard-Snyder, Daniel, and Frances Howard-Snyder. 1999. "Is Theism Compatible with Gratuitous Evil?" American Philosophical Quarterly 36: 115-29.]

The thing that theists have a problem with is the idea that there actually exists gratuitous suffering, not the idea that if there was gratuitous suffering, God couldn't exist (sophisticated theists widely concede the latter). Theists actually commonly claim that it is self-evident that it is greater to have morally sufficient reasons for allowing suffering than to let your creatures suffer pointlessly without a benevolent end for that action. If God exists, and is benevolent and maximally great, then he has to have good moral reasons for allowing the suffering he does. If there exists gratuitous suffering; an omnibenevolent, maximally great being does not exist.

My argument doesn't even assume that gratuitous suffering exists in the actual world. Just that is is possible! Atheism follows necessarily if we accept that its at least possible. It doesn't even have to be probably true in the actual world. This is because if God was possible, then omnibenevolence would hold in every possible world. If omnibenevolence holds in every possible world, then gratuitous suffering exists in no possible world. Thus, if gratuitous suffering is possible and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible (that inference is valid via Modus Tollens).

P1 is not that hard to defend. If gratuitous suffering is even possible, then God is impossible.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/11/2013 10:19:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Another example is in this debate (), William Lane Craig embraces the premise "If God exists, then gratuitous suffering does not exist" and only tries to argue against the notion that gratuitous suffering exists. I don't think I have read any literature from Christian philosophers that disagree that gratuitous suffering contradicts God's nature to be honest.

However, if God is possible, he exists in every possible world. Thus, no possible world would have gratuitous suffering as he is omnibenevolent if he is possible. Thus, if there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world; God is not possible.

Do you still doubt P1 of the Modal Argument From Evil I have presented Stubs?
bornofgod
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11/12/2013 10:07:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

Our Creator planned and created all the suffering of this world to deceive His people from knowing who they really are in Him. Neither Christians nor atheists or any other man in this world have ever known our Creator. Only God's servant in the flesh called prophets and saints have known who He is.
unitedandy
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11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does. Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically).

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/12/2013 2:50:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does.

I agree. As I said, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the MOA.

Ryan Stringer's argument is that there are more plugs than just "gratuitous suffering" (a large amount). For example, we can say:

It is possible that::

. All sentience is physically realized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown
. Omnipotence is not actual

We could go on forever. Since there are so many more plugs for Atheism, it is more probable that at least one of the plugs for Atheism is true, than the plug that "God is possible".

"[E]ven if the modal ontological argument undermines any given modal argument for atheism taken alone, the modal ontological argument certainly does not undermine the entire set of modal arguments for atheism." - Ryan Stringer[http://www.infidels.org...]

Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically)

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.

I actually did a little more research and you are correct. However, the premise is relatively uncontroversial. It certainly seems obvious to me. Do you know of any arguments against it?
popculturepooka
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11/12/2013 3:16:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 2:50:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does.

I agree. As I said, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the MOA.

Ryan Stringer's argument is that there are more plugs than just "gratuitous suffering" (a large amount). For example, we can say:

It is possible that::

. All sentience is physically realized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown
. Omnipotence is not actual

We could go on forever. Since there are so many more plugs for Atheism, it is more probable that at least one of the plugs for Atheism is true, than the plug that "God is possible".

"[E]ven if the modal ontological argument undermines any given modal argument for atheism taken alone, the modal ontological argument certainly does not undermine the entire set of modal arguments for atheism." - Ryan Stringer[http://www.infidels.org...]

Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically)

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.

I actually did a little more research and you are correct. However, the premise is relatively uncontroversial. It certainly seems obvious to me. Do you know of any arguments against it?

Peter Van Inwagen's "no minimum" argument.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/12/2013 5:23:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 3:16:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:50:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does.

I agree. As I said, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the MOA.

Ryan Stringer's argument is that there are more plugs than just "gratuitous suffering" (a large amount). For example, we can say:

It is possible that::

. All sentience is physically realized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown
. Omnipotence is not actual

We could go on forever. Since there are so many more plugs for Atheism, it is more probable that at least one of the plugs for Atheism is true, than the plug that "God is possible".

"[E]ven if the modal ontological argument undermines any given modal argument for atheism taken alone, the modal ontological argument certainly does not undermine the entire set of modal arguments for atheism." - Ryan Stringer[http://www.infidels.org...]

Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically)

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.

I actually did a little more research and you are correct. However, the premise is relatively uncontroversial. It certainly seems obvious to me. Do you know of any arguments against it?

Peter Van Inwagen's "no minimum" argument.

Michael J. Almeida's "On Evil"s Vague Necessity" refutation.

"The argument ["no minimum"] offers no reason to believe that the standard position on evil [A perfect being wouldn't allow gratuitous suffering] is false." - Michael J. Almeida
popculturepooka
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11/12/2013 6:06:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 5:23:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 3:16:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:50:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does.

I agree. As I said, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the MOA.

Ryan Stringer's argument is that there are more plugs than just "gratuitous suffering" (a large amount). For example, we can say:

It is possible that::

. All sentience is physically realized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown
. Omnipotence is not actual

We could go on forever. Since there are so many more plugs for Atheism, it is more probable that at least one of the plugs for Atheism is true, than the plug that "God is possible".

"[E]ven if the modal ontological argument undermines any given modal argument for atheism taken alone, the modal ontological argument certainly does not undermine the entire set of modal arguments for atheism." - Ryan Stringer[http://www.infidels.org...]

Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically)

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.

I actually did a little more research and you are correct. However, the premise is relatively uncontroversial. It certainly seems obvious to me. Do you know of any arguments against it?

Peter Van Inwagen's "no minimum" argument.

Michael J. Almeida's "On Evil"s Vague Necessity" refutation.

"The argument ["no minimum"] offers no reason to believe that the standard position on evil [A perfect being wouldn't allow gratuitous suffering] is false." - Michael J. Almeida

I never said it was successful. I was just bringing up because you asked for (attempted) refutations. I've brought up Almeida's counterargument here years ago.
Almeida goes on to argue that no version of the argument from evil is successful anyways so I don't consider it much of a blow.
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11/12/2013 6:10:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/12/2013 6:06:55 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/12/2013 5:23:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 3:16:00 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:50:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/12/2013 2:12:42 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/10/2013 7:53:34 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
This is based on philosopher Ryan Stringer's Modal Argument for Atheism. However, I a putting it in the form of a Problem of Evil. The argument below is logically valid, following Modus Ponens.

Argument From Evil

P1: If gratuitous suffering is possible, then it is not possible for God to exist
P2: Gratuitous suffering is possible
C: Therefore, it is not possible for God to exist

Defense of P1

This should be uncontroversial since this is an argument specifically against the classical philosophical view of God (if this is not your conception of God, then this argument isn't for you). God by definition is the greatest possible being, and is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. A maximally great being would be necessary, so if God is possible then he is necessary (this is true due to modal axiom S5). This would mean that benevolence would hold in every possible world. This entails that if God is possible, then every possible world has no gratuitous suffering (as benevolence necessitates that all suffering has a morally sufficient reason). If gratuitous suffering is even possible, and exists in some possible world, then God is not possible. If God was possible, then in no possible world would there be gratuitous suffering. So if it is the case that gratuitous suffering is possible; God is not possible. Simple.

Defense of P2:

Gratuitous suffering doesn't have to exist for this premise to be true, or even be probable; it must only be metaphysically possible. Intuitively, there is nothing impossible about the idea of gratuitous suffering, and we can use our modal intuitions to conceive of such scenarios entailing gratuitous suffering.

As William Rowe points out:

"Suppose in some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering. So far as we can see, the fawn's intense suffering is pointless." - William Rowe

However, he is arguing for a much stronger claim than I am. Rowe argues that gratuitous suffering is probably the case in reality. My argument does not need to make such a bold claim. I only argue that gratuitous suffering is metaphysically conceivable. This seems more than reasonable to grant. What laws of metaphysics or logic does this assumption violate? None. We actually do seem to see gratuitous suffering in real life. We can safely say that it is the case that there is gratuitous suffering in some possible world. This would hold even in some possible world there is no gratuitous suffering. In fact, even if in the actual world there is no gratuitous suffering the premise would hold. It only needs to be true in one possible world. This is more than a modest claim.

Conclusion

The conclusion is inescapable. God is not possible, and Atheism is necessarily true simply because in some possible world gratuitous suffering exists.

End Notes

If this doesn't prove Atheism is true, it at the very least undermines the Modal Ontological Argument. This is because to defend the first premise of the MOA in light this Argument from Evil, the theist would have to show why we should reject the idea that gratuitous suffering is possible, and accept the idea that God is possible without begging the question! This means, that they cannot say that gratuitous suffering is impossible because God is necessary and exists in every possible world, because that would assume God is possible. However, it is God's possibility the theist has to defend in the first place. When you assume your conclusion in your defense of that conclusion, that is a logical fallacy.

So, if Atheism isn't true based on this Argument From Evil, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the Modal Ontological Argument. A stalemate means God's existence is not established. Thus, this Argument From Evil is still effective as damage to a theist who holds the Modal Ontological Argument is sound without sufficient reason.

As a stand alone argument, it fails for the same reason that the OA does.

I agree. As I said, it at least puts us at a stalemate with the MOA.

Ryan Stringer's argument is that there are more plugs than just "gratuitous suffering" (a large amount). For example, we can say:

It is possible that::

. All sentience is physically realized
. The total sum of information there is, is unknown
. Omnipotence is not actual

We could go on forever. Since there are so many more plugs for Atheism, it is more probable that at least one of the plugs for Atheism is true, than the plug that "God is possible".

"[E]ven if the modal ontological argument undermines any given modal argument for atheism taken alone, the modal ontological argument certainly does not undermine the entire set of modal arguments for atheism." - Ryan Stringer[http://www.infidels.org...]

Epistemically, gratuitous evil is possible. As for being metaphysically possible, we simply don't know for certain. Either one goes beyond the evidence and claims that it is, or the argument reverts to the standard version (i.e. what we can know probabilistically)

Also, some theists do actually dispute the theological premise in the standard version, not that I agree with them.

I actually did a little more research and you are correct. However, the premise is relatively uncontroversial. It certainly seems obvious to me. Do you know of any arguments against it?

Peter Van Inwagen's "no minimum" argument.

Michael J. Almeida's "On Evil"s Vague Necessity" refutation.

"The argument ["no minimum"] offers no reason to believe that the standard position on evil [A perfect being wouldn't allow gratuitous suffering] is false." - Michael J. Almeida

I never said it was successful. I was just bringing up because you asked for (attempted) refutations. I've brought up Almeida's counterargument here years ago.
Almeida goes on to argue that no version of the argument from evil is successful anyways so I don't consider it much of a blow.

He does argue for the notion that a perfect being wouldn't allow gratuitous suffering though, and that is the point. Also, the argument I provided only assumes gratuitous suffering exists in one possible world, I don't argue it is the case in the actual world, or even probably the case.