Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

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seeds
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by seeds » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:54 am

Philosophy Now wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 pm
Charles Echelbarger explains the atheistic arguments of Theodore Drange.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/47/Non ... ore_Drange
The following are excerpts from the article and presumably from Theodore Drange’s book:
Theodore Drange wrote: The Argument From Evil (AE)

Let L be the situation of the amount of suffering and premature death experienced by humans in the world at the present time being significantly less than what it actually is at present.

(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation L, all things considered; want to bring about situation L; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation L as strongly as he wants to bring about situation L; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).

(B) If a being who has all four properties listed above were to exist, then situation L would have to obtain.

(C) But situation L does not obtain. The amount of suffering and unfairness in the world at the present time is not significantly less than what it actually is at present.

(D) Therefore, there does not exist a being who has all four properties listed in premise (A).

(E) Hence, the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.
________________________________________

The Argument From Nonbelief (ANB)

Let the gospel message consist of the following three propositions: (a) There exists a being who rules the entire universe.(b) That being has a son.(c) The ruler of the universe has sent his son to be the savior of humanity.

Let situation S be the situation (or situation type) of all, or almost all, humans since the time of Jesus of Nazareth coming to believe all three propositions of the gospel message by the time of their physical death.

(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation S, all things considered; want to bring about situation S, i.e., have it among his desires; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation S as strongly as he wants to bring about situation S; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).

(B) If a being who has all four properties listed above were to exist, then situation S would have to obtain.

(C) But situation S does not obtain. It is not the case that all, or almost all, humans since the time of Jesus of Nazareth have come to believe all the propositions of the gospel message by the time of their physical death.

(D) Therefore, there does not exist a being who has all four properties listed in premise (A).

(E) Hence, the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.
_______
The author is simply mounting arguments in the context of the low hanging fruit of the mythological nonsense that has been handed down to us from ancient minds.

Clearly this is just another situation of someone creating a “thought bubble” that we’re all supposed to step inside of, wherein everyone is then expected to accept the dubious precepts from which the bubble is formed as being true.

I mean, how many more times and different ways can the same old arguments, based on the same old tired assumptions, be fought-out?

I suggest that it is time for everyone to understand that evangelical Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, along with any other religion ever conceived by humans...

...are simply the pacifying “teats” for us worldlings to suckle on until we are delivered into whatever truth awaits us following the event of death (be it eternal life or eternal oblivion).

And as I have been insisting in other threads in this forum, whatever that truth may be, it will be the exact same truth (the exact same destiny) for all of us.

And lastly, if God does indeed exist, then it never ceases to amaze me how ridiculous it is for humans to think that they can second guess the M.O. and intelligence of a Being who is capable of creating a hundred billion galaxies of suns and planets.
_______

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Dubious » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:12 am

seeds wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:54 am
Philosophy Now wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:56 pm
Charles Echelbarger explains the atheistic arguments of Theodore Drange.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/47/Non ... ore_Drange

Clearly this is just another situation of someone creating a “thought bubble” that we’re all supposed to step inside of, wherein everyone is then expected to accept the dubious precepts from which the bubble is formed as being true.

I mean, how many more times and different ways can the same old arguments, based on the same old tired assumptions, be fought-out?

I suggest that it is time for everyone to understand that evangelical Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, along with any other religion ever conceived by humans...

...are simply the pacifying “teats” for us worldlings to suckle on until we are delivered into whatever truth awaits us following the event of death (be it eternal life or eternal oblivion).

And as I have been insisting in other threads in this forum, whatever that truth may be, it will be the exact same truth (the exact same destiny) for all of us.
_______
In spite of our disagreements on the potential abilities of human consciousness to become a cosmic power, your succinct summary in this instance also encapsulates my views in each sentence. Every religion, every god story is just a human artifact best understood as one of history's main consoling metaphors...not to to mention the power it invests in those "unique" humans who are in the business of interpreting that which lies at its center.

When you examine the gods created by man they really do appear as All-Too-Human.

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Noax » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:01 pm

Theodore Drange wrote: The Argument From Evil (AE)
...
(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would <List of 4 things>
...
<The list above is not the case>
...
(E) Hence, the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.
The argument seems sound, but I thought we were proving the nonexistence of God, and via Argument from Evil. No mention of evil in the argument, and if evangelical Christians actually hold to the list of the four things (it is not a strawman representation of their stance), the it merely proves that evangelical Christians hold to an inconsistent belief, and that perhaps some other representation of God is more accurate.

The argument from nonbelief as stated in the post seems to suffer from the exact same flaw.
Once again, all it demonstrates is an inconsistent story from the eC's if their position is accurately represented in the argument.

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Noax
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Noax » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:24 pm

Theodore Drange wrote:Let L be the situation of the amount of suffering and premature death experienced by humans in the world at the present time being significantly less than what it actually is at present.
Here's another flaw. L is defined in a relative way, which means if God really did want and obtained L, the argument would still hold since a new L would be defined with even less suffering and premature death.

Maybe the present situation is the L, and the M situation with more suffering and unfairness is not the case, due only to the intervention by God. Thus God must exist since M is not the case.

So it seems the same argument can be used to prove God. So I retract my statement of the argument being sound.

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Viveka » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:35 pm

The argument from non-belief makes no sense. Just because God doesn't force people to believe in Christianity doesn't mean he doesn't exist. I could say the same for all other religions out there.

The argument from Evil presupposes that there is an equal or greater amount of evil than good. If it obtains that there is more good than evil, then why should we accept his argument? An ever-evolving world with Goodness spreading more and more would also abolish his argument.

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Impenitent » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:44 pm

believe it or not, without the existence of both evil and good, there is no choosing between the two...

the choice of freewill started the whole ball rolling in the first place didn't it?

-Imp

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:09 am

Viveka wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:35 pm
The argument from non-belief makes no sense. Just because God doesn't force people to believe in Christianity doesn't mean he doesn't exist. I could say the same for all other religions out there.

The argument from Evil presupposes that there is an equal or greater amount of evil than good. If it obtains that there is more good than evil, then why should we accept his argument? An ever-evolving world with Goodness spreading more and more would also abolish his argument.
Right. But here's an additional real weakness in his argument. He writes,
(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation S, all things considered; want to bring about situation S, i.e., have it among his desires; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation S as strongly as he wants to bring about situation S; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).
But he forgets that there are situations that God rationally CANNOT create, not because of some deficiency of divine power or ability, but simply because those things are self-contradictory and ridiculous. They are things that cannot exist because their noun is denied by their adjective. The problem is in the concept, not in any deficiency in the Supreme Being. So God cannot create "married bachelors," for example -- that is, He could not create such without first altering the very nature of what it is to be "married" or to be a "bachelor." Likewise, He could not create "square circles." Circles are, by definition, not square.

Is it reasonable to indict God for not creating "forced-believing free-will beings"? Or does having a "free will" automatically entail the property of not being "forced to believe" any one particular thing, and being capable of believing some other, and even of being disbelieving entirely? I would say that there's no rational sense in which we can talk of people having "free will," and yet being "forced by God" to believe only in Him, or "situation 5" as it's called in the argument. And if that's right, then it means that "situation 5," if it is the free choice of independent beings, cannot be brought about by "force," and the two are mutually contradictory.

So his argument there is pretty darn poor. It presupposes a Deterministic God only, and could not be a relevant critique if God sees value in free will. And I don't think it's any stretch to say He does; for WE do. Some people even die for others, so that freedom may persist. So human beings seem to think this property very, very important. Why do they they complain if God does?

Viveka
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Viveka » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:22 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:09 am
Viveka wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:35 pm
The argument from non-belief makes no sense. Just because God doesn't force people to believe in Christianity doesn't mean he doesn't exist. I could say the same for all other religions out there.

The argument from Evil presupposes that there is an equal or greater amount of evil than good. If it obtains that there is more good than evil, then why should we accept his argument? An ever-evolving world with Goodness spreading more and more would also abolish his argument.
Right. But here's an additional real weakness in his argument. He writes,
(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation S, all things considered; want to bring about situation S, i.e., have it among his desires; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation S as strongly as he wants to bring about situation S; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).
But he forgets that there are situations that God rationally CANNOT create, not because of some deficiency of divine power or ability, but simply because those things are self-contradictory and ridiculous. They are things that cannot exist because their noun is denied by their adjective. The problem is in the concept, not in any deficiency in the Supreme Being. So God cannot create "married bachelors," for example -- that is, He could not create such without first altering the very nature of what it is to be "married" or to be a "bachelor." Likewise, He could not create "square circles." Circles are, by definition, not square.

Is it reasonable to indict God for not creating "forced-believing free-will beings"? Or does having a "free will" automatically entail the property of not being "forced to believe" any one particular thing, and being capable of believing some other, and even of being disbelieving entirely? I would say that there's no rational sense in which we can talk of people having "free will," and yet being "forced by God" to believe only in Him, or "situation 5" as it's called in the argument. And if that's right, then it means that "situation 5," if it is the free choice of independent beings, cannot be brought about by "force," and the two are mutually contradictory.

So his argument there is pretty darn poor. It presupposes a Deterministic God only, and could not be a relevant critique if God sees value in free will. And I don't think it's any stretch to say He does; for WE do. Some people even die for others, so that freedom may persist. So human beings seem to think this property very, very important. Why do they they complain if God does?
I would say that Nirvana and Heaven exist, and therefore there are states that are with free-will, yet always result in Good. It is our finite body and finite mind that cause the problems we have because of our embodied free-will. If we are to live in this state of Goodness with Free-will, it necessarily follow that we would leave our bodies behind. If we were God, even then, would we have free-will as we know it? There are certain fixed laws and fixed states our minds and bodies can attain to due to an Intelligent Designer. Without Intelligent Design, would we bother thinking of a square-circle? Only an Intelligent Designer can create an Intelligence. And even if we can, an Intelligent Designer wouldn't need square circles, as I believe, because it is the opposite of an Intelligence in Design. Hence the Biblical and Ancient Greek 'Logos'. DNA itself is a result of an Intelligent Designer as the language of Life! It is self-evident that this is true, while it is not self-evident that a primordial soup could create DNA.

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm

Atheism is a fad. Trying to prove a "negative" with a "negative" gets boring after awhile. I would be better if they just stated: "I hate God because I believe God hates me."


(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation L, all things considered; want to bring about situation L; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation L as strongly as he wants to bring about situation L; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).

Their is no definition for what situation L contains exactly. So to argue "God wants" and "God is not able to"; therefore "God does not exist" provides very little explanation. What is it that God want's exactly?

(B) If a being who has all four properties listed above were to exist, then situation L would have to obtain.

(C) But situation L does not obtain. The amount of suffering and unfairness in the world at the present time is not significantly less than what it actually is at present.
Ahh...so it is "suffering/death" etc....But the Christian Scriptures clearly state that many Christians would "suffer". Noone is forced to believe in Christianity, but these Atheists for "how intelligent" they claim to be....are always contradicting themselves or making facts up.


(D) Therefore, there does not exist a being who has all four properties listed in premise (A).

(E) Hence, the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.


Arguing against the evangelical version of God, does not prove God does not exist...just the evangelical version. That is assuming the argument is correct...and it is not.

These self-righteous atheists are really boring...they all think they understand something when they really don't. It is the same thing over and over again.





Let the gospel message consist of the following three propositions: (a) There exists a being who rules the entire universe.(b) That being has a son.(c) The ruler of the universe has sent his son to be the savior of humanity.

Let situation S be the situation (or situation type) of all, or almost all, humans since the time of Jesus of Nazareth coming to believe all three propositions of the gospel message by the time of their physical death.

(A) If the God of evangelical Christianity were to exist, then he would be able to bring about situation S, all things considered; want to bring about situation S, i.e., have it among his desires; not want anything else that necessarily conflicts with his desire to bring about situation S as strongly as he wants to bring about situation S; be rational (which implies always acting in accord with his own highest purposes).

(B) If a being who has all four properties listed above were to exist, then situation S would have to obtain.

(C) But situation S does not obtain. It is not the case that all, or almost all, humans since the time of Jesus of Nazareth have come to believe all the propositions of the gospel message by the time of their physical death.

Where does it state in Christian Scripture that all, or most, humans "have come to believe all the propositions of the gospel message by the time of their physical death"?

Is this seriously an "academic" argument?


(D) Therefore, there does not exist a being who has all four properties listed in premise (A).

(E) Hence, the God of evangelical Christianity does not exist.

He still does not understand, the proving that the God of Evangelical Christianity does not exist does not equate to God does not exist. You cannot prove a negative without proving a positive. Proving a negative with only a negative does not work.

Is this a serious article/argument?

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:24 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
I[t] would be better if they just stated: "I hate God because I believe God hates me."
I understand that Richard Dawkins claims to have arrived at his Atheism at the ripe old age of 15. Now, whatever else you can say about RD, you can't say he came to his position on the basis of his extensive biological and philosophical expertise...not unless his intellectual career reached its zenith in puberty.

Like the situation of most Atheists I have met, his reasons actually seem to have been personal and emotional, not rational. His rationalization patterns came later, evidently in an attempt to defend an ideological position he had adopted out of much less rational motives.

C.S. Lewis, who converted from Atheism, said his own experience was precisely like that. He rejected God early in life, because of the death of his mother. Then he intellectualized it. Really, he says, he was angry with the God he did not believe existed. And, as he says, "I was also angry at him for not existing." And I was angry with him for creating a world." No wonder, then, that he characterizes this phase of his own thinking as "living in a whirl of contradictions."

Some Atheists have never managed to leave that "whirl," it seems.

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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by uwot » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:42 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
Atheism is a fad.
You should look it up. It simply means a lack of belief in any god.
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
Trying to prove a "negative" with a "negative" gets boring after awhile.
See above. Atheism does not demand a belief that a god does not exist, it is quite enough to not believe that a god exists. It's a subtle difference that even some reasonably bright people fail to appreciate.
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
I would be better if they just stated: "I hate God because I believe God hates me."
To believe that a god you don't believe exists hates you, would be a bit daft.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:43 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:24 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
I[t] would be better if they just stated: "I hate God because I believe God hates me."
I understand that Richard Dawkins claims to have arrived at his Atheism at the ripe old age of 15. Now, whatever else you can say about RD, you can't say he came to his position on the basis of his extensive biological and philosophical expertise...not unless his intellectual career reached its zenith in puberty.

Like the situation of most Atheists I have met, his reasons actually seem to have been personal and emotional, not rational. His rationalization patterns came later, evidently in an attempt to defend an ideological position he had adopted out of much less rational motives.

C.S. Lewis, who converted from Atheism, said his own experience was precisely like that. He rejected God early in life, because of the death of his mother. Then he intellectualized it. Really, he says, he was angry with the God he did not believe existed. And, as he says, "I was also angry at him for not existing." And I was angry with him for creating a world." No wonder, then, that he characterizes this phase of his own thinking as "living in a whirl of contradictions."

Some Atheists have never managed to leave that "whirl," it seems.
Hence the obsession with the Münchhausen Trillema most atheists "logicians" have. You are right, it is strictly emotional, and unfortunately it reflects into their logic.

It just gets boring after awhile hereing "atheism this...", "God doesn't exist...that". Its the same thing over and over again...I think it was G.K. Chesterton who correctly pointed out the "Atheism is a Fad".

And it is an intellectual fad...it will come...and it will go.

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:47 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:42 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
Atheism is a fad.
You should look it up. It simply means a lack of belief in any god.

Like I said...a fad. Beliefs come and go, depending on what is trending.
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
Trying to prove a "negative" with a "negative" gets boring after awhile.
See above. Atheism does not demand a belief that a god does not exist, it is quite enough to not believe that a god exists. It's a subtle difference that even some reasonably bright people fail to appreciate.

Well if it does not demand a belief that a god does not exist...can I be an atheist and believe in God? It still doesn't explain their obsession with proving a "negative".
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:18 pm
I would be better if they just stated: "I hate God because I believe God hates me."
To believe that a god you don't believe exists hates you, would be a bit daft.

Thanks, that is a good way to put it...atheism is daft. I forgot all about that English word...daft...daft...hmm. I will have to get use to using it I guess.

uwot
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Re: Nonbelief and Evil: Two Arguments for the Nonexistence of God by Theodore Drange

Post by uwot » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:51 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:24 pm
I understand that Richard Dawkins claims to have arrived at his Atheism at the ripe old age of 15. Now, whatever else you can say about RD, you can't say he came to his position on the basis of his extensive biological and philosophical expertise...not unless his intellectual career reached its zenith in puberty.
Bit ad hominem, Mr Can, but if you believe that course of reasoning is valid, perhaps you could remind us of your age when you found your god. At college, as I remember. 18 or 19?
World renowned biologist makes mistake as teenager. Cerebrally challenged internet troll gets it right. Really, Mr Can?

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