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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - The Problem of Evil

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 Post subject: The Problem of Evil
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:10 am 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
It's time for some more discussion, and so today I've decided to start a thread dedicated to that most famous of the arguments against God, the Problem of Evil.

The first premise is that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and morally good. Most theists will readily agree to these, but there's always one smartaleck.

The second premise is that if a God with those three qualities existed, there would be no evil. If God were omniscient, he would know when evil would occur and how to stop it. If God were omnipotent, he would be capable of preventing it. If God were morally good, he would desire to stop evil. Therefore, there should be no evil.

The third premise is that there is evil in the world. Likewise, most theists will readily accept this. (After all, they need something to preach against.)

So the conclusion is that if an omni-God existed, there would be no evil. But there is evil. Hence, no omni-God.

There are four sub-arguments of the Problem of Evil, based on four varieties of evil:
The argument from moral evil: If the first premise holds, then God would not allow people to commit evil acts.
The argument from natural evil: If the first premise holds, then God would not allow natural disasters and the like, since they cause suffering.
The argument from imperfection: If the first premise holds, then the world would contain no imperfections, since God is a perfect creator.
The argument from unbelief: If the first premise holds, then there would be no unbelievers, since unbelief leads to suffering, i.e., Hell.

In the thread about the Euthyphro Dilemma, I brought up responses to possible counterarguments. I won't do that here, so there can be discussion.

So discuss.

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:26 am 
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Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 11, 2002 3:03 am
Posts: 1621
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

_________________
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:00 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:13 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:27 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:44 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:47 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:32 pm 
Why speak of good and evil at all? While there are certainly things that are harmful, destructive, hateful, or so on, as well as things that are hopeful, cheering, endearing, and so on, does labelling some of them 'good' and others 'evil' really change anything - especially when many people call some of the most destructive or vicious things 'good' and some of the most loving and tender ones 'evil', simply because they fit or don't fit into their world view? Do these words actually mean anything, or are they just props used to justify one's own prejudices and assumptions?

IIRC, there is a Taoist saying that goes along the lines of, "When you call something beautiful, you create ugliness; when you call something good, you invent evil."

To be honest, my experience is that most times when anyone speaks of something being 'evil', it is to convince people that doing something else 'evil' would really be 'good'. It's a shell game, with Them always being Evil and Us always being Good. Since all the different sides play this game, it would have to mean that one of them is in mistaken... and I have no reason to think that any of them are correct, including my own.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:56 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:58 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:10 pm 
I think I see your point, but I still say it's wrong. The concept of "evil" is open to interpretation. I get that if an omnipotent being wanted to set the universe up so that nobody ever suffered, an omnipotent being could do so. But I don't think that creating an entity with free will is something that you could do while ensuring "happiness" (whatever that is) for that entity. God, no matter how omnipotent, cannot create people that both have the ability to and do not have the ability to do mean things to each other, jump off a cliff etc. That isn't a limitation of ability, it's a logical fallacy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:09 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Just a question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:11 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:33 pm 
It sounds like that might be possible, but there would still be this "problem of evil" when referring to monotheism, which is usually what's inferred when talking about "God" as opposed to "a god".

See here's the thing Jeremiah. I don't think suffering is bad per se. Consider wolves feeding on a pack of Caribou. The lousy caribou die. The wolves get fed. The better Caribou have more grass to eat, then the next generation has more good Caribou and less lousy ones. A few of the wolves stink at killing Caribou and they die too. The Caribou and the wolves suffer. Do I think it's evil? Heck no, I think it's awesome! Yay for suffering! :reaper:

I don't see suffering as evil. I think it's pretty devoid of morality actually. You can call it evil if that's the system of belief you choose, but going and saying "God's weak and/or a jerk because we suffer and I don't like it." only really works for your definition of evil.


Which I'd like to hear by the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:16 am 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:24 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:46 am 
No, it's not that the suffering has a purpose that makes it ok. What I mean is that the concept of suffering itself, in a constructive context or not, is morally irrelevant. You're talking about a sensation, and ultimately a state of mind. What's next, is hot evil, or cold? How about sweet and sour? What if I decide that I like suffering? Some people do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:46 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:55 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:04 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:42 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:08 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:57 am 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:13 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:48 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:23 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:13 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:25 pm 
Offline
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:04 pm 


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:17 pm 


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