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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - The Problem of Evil

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:56 pm 
If you assume that 'the universe has a purpose' and that that purpose is for some god to test itself and all of creation, then you're already assuming that you have a 'good' god who is not sure if he's omni[foo].

However, it does seem that the god in the old testament of the christian (and jewish?) religion wasn't actually 'good' but 'powerful' (mighty). He could and did smite enemies, drown a world, etc. A totally-perfect good being would not cause that sort of suffering - assuming he is that powerful, he could quite easily change everyone's mind. This means that we have an intellectual quandry:

if there is a purpose to the universe, then the god of it (should there be one) is by definition not perfect, and not omni[foo]; to have created imperfection, implies an imperfect ability to create perfection. He therefore must be both good AND evil, hence the 'two sides of the same coin' argument.

Killing puppies might be evil, but killing puppies that are infected with rabies isn't. The puppies, however, are just as dead.

Have I made any logical errors? (probably several)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:09 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:18 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:44 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:34 pm 
Heh. Nice thread. I guess I'll chime in:

My philosophy (if you can justify it as a 'philosophy') is kinda derived from Teilhard de Chardin and the other deistic relativists. IMHO, the breaking point is in the whole idea of 'good' as an absolute, Platonic Forms concept - there's no such thing. 'Good' is instead relative, and evolves as human beings (and human civilizations) try and test new ideas and come to consensus on what's moral and what isn't. As a side note, this is also my best guess as to why the universe exists in the first place - it's the ultimate social experiments lab.

Or so the bare bones go, anyway. Feel free to call me a Socinian heretic and set the Jesuits on me, all. 8-)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:59 pm 
I think that trying to be "good" is a relatively modern concept. It seems that people used to worry more about who could smack them with a bolt of lightning / make their crops grow / turn them into sheep than what was "right". I'm not certain the term "right" even had much meaning. You certainly don't see the Greek and Roman gods portrayed as purely good, and many "primitive" religions have all sorts of neutral gods that you have to bribe to get stuff.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:29 pm 


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