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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
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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
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This is one big reason I don't subscribe to a religion that touts an omni-omni-omni deity.

Because it just doesn't make any sense.

Actually, I don't fully subscribe to any religion. I'm beginning to think that organized religion is a bad thing... But that's another thread.


Anyway, in my own personal belief system, this problem of evil takes care of itself. I believe in a Creator for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that complexity never arises spontaneously out of chaos. But I believe that this Creator is a hands-off one. He doesn't really care what happens to individuals. Heck, maybe he made the thing and left it to take care of itself. Who knows. But the Creator doesn't interfere in the lives of individual beings on this planet. I've seen no evidence of it. None.

As far as omnipotent, that's just nonsense. It'd be like you bragging that you have 150 marbles, and me besting you by saying I have an infinite number of marbles. Infinity doesn't really exist, it's just a concept.

Same goes with omnipresent.

Omnibenevolent, I don't buy for a second. Because if God was omnibenevolent, then there wouldn't be any suffering in life. And life is full of suffering. If God is omnibenevolent only to his believers, that's not really omni, and besides, I've seen plenty of suffering happening to people from all the religions. Besides, if God is omni-omni-omni and hates anyone who doesn't believe in Him, then I for one refuse to believe in a deity with such a self-esteem and selfishness problem.

Therefore, evil can exist, because God is not omni-omni-omni.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:00 pm 
Evil and good are two sides of teh same coin. Without good no evil, without evil no good.

If you see God as good, there must be something evil. Otherwise you wouldn't know what good was.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:13 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Darth Shrike wrote:
Evil and good are two sides of the same coin. Without good no evil, without evil no good.


All this "two sides of the same coin" talk makes for interesting philosophobabble, but does it hold water? Good and evil are not simply opposites. Would it really be impossible for people to help one another if they couldn't harm one another? God, being omnipotent, could arrange things how he liked to make the existence of evil impossible.

Quote:
If you see God as good, there must be something evil. Otherwise you wouldn't know what good was.


You don't have to teach math students what an exponent isn't before teaching them what an exponent is. Teaching by contrasts is a human limitation. God, being omnipotent, would have infinitely better ways of teaching humans the difference between good and evil without having to resort to case studies. God could make knowledge of morality innate, for instance, and create in everyone a strong inclination against evil. If morality is absolute, as many theists claim, then it would be easy for morality to be boiled down to simple definitions, axioms, and inference rules which could then be taught deductively like math.
Knowledge of what evil is does not require that people be allowed to act on it. There are acts that would be considered evil but are physically impossible, such as stealing another's thoughts or stealing the moon. Our free will in acting out evil is limited by reality. So why isn't all evil limited so? And in heaven, everyone is supposed to be morally perfect and yet they have knowledge of what evil is.

Your argument still does not have anything to do with the arguments from imperfection, natural evil, and unbelief, either.

_________________
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: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:27 pm 
I don't know if I agree that there's a problem here. You observe evil in the world, sure, but what if these apparently evil things actually add up to something useful? Untold billions of creatures have died painful violent deaths since life began on earth. It sounds awful, but hey that's life and the end result is evolution and finally us. If there's actually a constructive purpose behind the apparently lousy state of affairs that is the human condition God could be good and all powerful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:44 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Madcat wrote:
If there's actually a constructive purpose behind the apparently lousy state of affairs that is the human condition God could be good and all powerful.


If God is all-good and all-loving, he would ensure that those he loved would not suffer needlessly. If God is all-powerful, he doesn't need to use suffering to get his will done; all suffering would be needless. God chooses to let people suffer for absolutely no reason when he could just as easily fulfill his will without suffering. Anyone who would call this behavior "moral" or "loving" needs a dictionary.

_________________
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: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:47 am 
Madcat wrote:
I don't know if I agree that there's a problem here. You observe evil in the world, sure, but what if these apparently evil things actually add up to something useful?


Useful evil is still evil. Meaningful pain is still pain. Beneficial suffering is still suffering. And all of these are of gods doing.

If gods is all-powerful, then it can't be useful, meaningful, beneficial.


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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 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Why speak of good and evil at all?


Because the theists do.

_________________
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: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:58 pm 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Why speak of good and evil at all?


Because the theists do.


I'm a (poly)theist (sometimes) and I don't (usually) speak of them, except in the colloquial sense which really only amounts to 'something I like/dislike'.

Still, I see your point.


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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 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Madcat wrote:
I think I see your point, but I still say it's wrong. The concept of "evil" is open to interpretation.


If a theist defines their God as morally good and all-loving, they've usually already decided on an interpretation of good and evil. Most people would probably agree that causing people to suffer unnecessarily would definitely be considered an evil act; even those who don't believe in "good" or "evil" still know what is meant by the terms. And causing people you claim to love to suffer unnecessarily is not love.

The entire contradiction can be summed up as follows:
By attributing qualities regarding goodness and morality to their god, all theists claim there are certain acts their god would not perform, based on their definitions of "good", "loving", "moral", "evil", or whatever attribute you've chosen for the Big G.
The nature of the universe shows that God performed these acts anyway.
Hence the contradiction.
For instance, if theists defined an all-malevolent god, you'd have the Problem of Good.

Quote:
I get that if an omnipotent being wanted to set the universe up so that nobody ever suffered, an omnipotent being could do so.


And an all-moral all-loving being would do so.

Quote:
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.


The concept of Heaven involves beings with free will who are eternally happy and morally perfect. Obviously there's no problem with that. And God, being the omnipotent creator, created free will and happiness in the first place and could have arranged them however he liked.

A fellow on another message board I post to calls this the "theistic error" or the "panglossian error": the claim by the theist that an unlimited and perfect god would somehow be constrained to produce the limited and imperfect world we see.

Quote:
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.


God could have easily made everyone able to jump off a cliff while instilling in them the moral commands not to. He could also have not made cliffs at all.

Quote:
That isn't a limitation of ability, it's a logical fallacy.


I always find it amusing when theists claim "God can supercede your puny logic!" and then later go "God can't do the logically impossible!". (Not that I'm saying you've done this, but I always get a kick out of it.)

_________________
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: Just a question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:11 pm 
But why only one god?

Coudln't/can't there be more then one?
And if that is the case, couldn't one god have set things up as a Paradise on Earth. Then later have that paradise changed by another?


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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 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Madcat wrote:
See here's the thing Jeremiah. I don't think suffering is bad per se.


You seem to accept suffering as nonevil if it leads to a better outcome. Great. An omnipotent god could simply bypass the suffering and go right to the outcome. There would be no such thing as necessary suffering, since all of reality would be contingent upon God; God could make suffering completely unnecessary. In a universe with an omnipotent omniscient God, who can run the universe however he sees fit, all suffering is unnecessary. God didn't even have to invent the concept of suffering.

Quote:
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:


Such suffering is still unnecessary, since an omnipotent God has much better ways of feeding wolves and improving the gene pool of caribou than by crude natural selection. Why does this point escape you? You're committing the theistic error again: assuming that an unlimited god would somehow be limited to create the world we see.

Quote:
I don't see suffering as evil. I think it's pretty devoid of morality actually.


What about inflicting unnecessary suffering, or sitting back and allowing it to happen? Are these moral? Are these loving? For starters, not according to the people who are defining God's morality! And most people consider causing and allowing unnecessary suffering to be immoral.

This is the inherent contradiction, boiled down as simple as I can make it: theists claim that God is the epitome of some standard of morality, that God desires to uphold that morality, that God is perfectly able to uphold that morality... and yet God doesn't uphold this morality. Most theists will acknowledge the presence of evil in the world -- however they define evil. Their own claims lead to the logical conclusion that their God is logically contradictory and therefore can not exist.

To make it even simpler, theists who believe in the existence of a omni -benevolent, -scient, and -potent God are basically saying that an omnipotent omniscient God is somehow unable to get what he wants. A logical contradiction.

Or, for another twist. According to the theists, God could and would stop any act he considered evil, since he is all-powerful and all-good. But God doesn't stop many acts that the theist considers evil. Hence, the theist's claims are logically contradictory.

Quote:
You can call it evil if that's the system of belief you choose,


I call it evil because the people talking about their god call it evil.

Quote:
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.


If allowing people you claim to love suffer unnecessarily doesn't fall under your definition of evil, I'd love to hear why. The existence of evil implies that God either does not want to stop evil (i.e., a jerk), does not know about evil, or can not stop evil (i.e., weak), all of which contradict the concepts of omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence. If these concepts don't apply to some god concept, then the Problem of Evil doesn't apply to it.

Quote:
Which I'd like to hear by the way.


At the very least, allowing or causing others to suffer unnecessarily. Why does my definition of evil matter anyway? The morality of those attributing morality to God is what matters. They're saying God wants something, some moral standard, and yet acknowledge that God is not getting what he wants. Which is nonsense and a logical contradiction.

_________________
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 17, 2005 4:24 am 
jeremiahsmith wrote:
This is the inherent contradiction, boiled down as simple as I can make it: theists claim that God is the epitome of some standard of morality, that God desires to uphold that morality, that God is perfectly able to uphold that morality... and yet God doesn't uphold this morality. Most theists will acknowledge the presence of evil in the world -- however they define evil. Their own claims lead to the logical conclusion that their God is logically contradictory and therefore can not exist.


So you are talking about the morality of God that we choose for him? If he is that omni and what not, then we are probably unable to imagine the full scale of what he is/means. It is too big for our brains.

It is like trying to understand the real meaning of infinity of the universe.


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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 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Madcat wrote:
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.


Pain is a sensation. Suffering is an emotion, and it implies that the sensations are unpleasant, unwanted, undesirable. Causing suffering is where morality comes in. I do believe I've made this point.

_________________
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 17, 2005 12:55 pm 
Actually no, now I think you're implying that a benevolent God would ensure that free willed beings don't feel anything but happiness, which is inconsistent with free will.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:04 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Madcat wrote:
Actually no, now I think you're implying that a benevolent God would ensure that free willed beings don't feel anything but happiness, which is inconsistent with free will.


So there's no free will in heaven? How is feeling only happiness inconsistent with free will?

_________________
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 17, 2005 3:42 pm 
Darth Shrike wrote:
So you are talking about the morality of God that we choose for him? If he is that omni and what not, then we are probably unable to imagine the full scale of what he is/means. It is too big for our brains.

It is like trying to understand the real meaning of infinity of the universe.

If you accept that, then by the same token you also can't declare that God is morally good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:08 am 
Anh Minh wrote:
Darth Shrike wrote:
So you are talking about the morality of God that we choose for him? If he is that omni and what not, then we are probably unable to imagine the full scale of what he is/means. It is too big for our brains.

It is like trying to understand the real meaning of infinity of the universe.

If you accept that, then by the same token you also can't declare that God is morally good.


Did I declare God as morally good?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:57 am 
Darth Shrike wrote:
Anh Minh wrote:
Darth Shrike wrote:
So you are talking about the morality of God that we choose for him? If he is that omni and what not, then we are probably unable to imagine the full scale of what he is/means. It is too big for our brains.

It is like trying to understand the real meaning of infinity of the universe.

If you accept that, then by the same token you also can't declare that God is morally good.


Did I declare God as morally good?


I guess it falls to me, again, to point out when someone has missed the boat, or maybe it's 'missed the point'. That is exactly what this conversation has been about:
http://zoo.nightstar.net/viewtopic.php?t=11340
Not whether you have declared god to be one thing or another, but whether there is any logic in anyone declaring motives and intentions for god.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:13 pm 
well, i'm not sure i want to get into this one, but i guess i'll give it a go.


1.We are here for a few purposes. those purposesare that we progress, we grow, we make ourselves better, and that we are tested in our willingness to follow the creator which put us here. in the same way that a military commander promotes a soldier for following the orders given him, God rewards and "promotes" us according to our obedience.

2. if everything is Good, the world is basically static. it does not matter what we do, because everything is Good. there are no wrong choices. if there are no rong choices, there are only Right choices. how can you fail a test that has no wrong answers?

3.if god controlled us, or kept us from being able to commit Evil, the test would also be null. if the teacher was watching over your shoulder to make sure that you dont get the answer wrong, how can you fail the test? how can the test be an accurate gauge of knowledge?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:48 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
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Gark32 wrote:
1.We are here for a few purposes. those purposesare that we progress, we grow, we make ourselves better, and that we are tested in our willingness to follow the creator which put us here.


Why would an omniscient being have to test anything? Tests are administered because of imperfect knowledge; we need to find something out -- say, how well a student is learning. But omniscience by definition is perfect knowledge; God has no reason to test anything.

Not only that, but God knows how the tests will come out. He sets every parameter of existence; he creates the humans, creates every temptation to sin, creates the very concepts of "tempation" and "sin", creates a universe where sin is physically possible, creates the human mind and impulse for sin. God sets up the test, knows that people will fail, and then punishes those who fail as if it were their own fault, even though God set the whole thing up from the beginning. That's not a benevolent god at all. That's a concentration camp director who makes cripples run a race and then says he'll shoot everyone who can't outrun his fastest SS soldier. God wants us all to pass his test; what you're asserting is that an omnipotent and omniscient deity is somehow unable to get what he wants. Pure nonsense.

The free will argument does nothing except add another link in a chain which ultimately ends in God. God has no reason to test anything, since he already knows everything.

And, as I point out in this post, God (the one in the Bible, at least) apparently does not respect free will anyway.

Quote:
2. if everything is Good, the world is basically static. it does not matter what we do, because everything is Good.


Congratulations! You've just argued against Heaven. How does it feel? The idea of a Heaven where everyone is happy and morally perfect is fatal to the free will defense. If people in Heaven have free will, then free will is compatible with moral perfection and happiness, and you're left explaining why an omnibenevolent God would create suffering if he could just go right to the happiness. If people in Heaven have no free will, then God doesn't give a rat's ass about it, and could have created a world where everyone is a happy and morally perfect robot. Your only recourse is to deny that Heaven is a place of moral perfection and happiness, but very few people will claim that.

If you're going to say that we need to be tested to get into Heaven, see above regarding God and testing. Why doesn't God just make everyone eligible for Heaven? If God wants us all to get to Heaven, why doesn't he arrange things to be so?

Quote:
there are no wrong choices. if there are no rong choices, there are only Right choices. how can you fail a test that has no wrong answers?


Why would an omnibenevolent God create a test that could be failed, especially if the price of failure was suffering or eternal torment?

Quote:
3.if god controlled us, or kept us from being able to commit Evil, the test would also be null.


Most theists claim that it is immoral to stand by while others commit evil, and that the morally good thing to do is to try to prevent it -- even though such an act would violate the evildoer's free will. If God is all-good, why doesn't he step in all the time? God has no reason to test our reactions to evil.

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if the teacher was watching over your shoulder to make sure that you dont get the answer wrong, how can you fail the test? how can the test be an accurate gauge of knowledge?


Why would God need to test anything? He is the accurate gauge of knowledge. Your analogy is flawed, since teachers have limited knowledge regarding their students' skills and thus have a need for tests.

_________________
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: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:23 pm 
If God's so damn omniscient, why should he test us at all? He already knows the results.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:13 pm 
Who says it's God that needs the answers from the testing?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:25 pm 
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Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
Kit the Odd wrote:
Who says it's God that needs the answers from the testing?


Elaborate, please.

_________________
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: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:04 pm 
I heard a couple of different ideas on that, but here's one of them.

God knows where we 'should' be for eternity. But we don't. If God puts us somewhere other than where we want to be we may complain. If God has tested us then all He has to do is point to the test results and tell us to quit whining because we showed that was where we should be.

Disclaimer: The doctrine contained in this post may or may not be correct, and does not neccesarily reflect the true beliefs of the poster.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:17 pm 
Well, if God could tell in advance who'd become a good person and who would 'fail', why not simply create only those that would 'succeed'?


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