The Problem of Evil

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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gaffo
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by gaffo »

BTW i tried to converse with veg about her NZ gov/parelment/pm (who sems kewl to me - Jasenda somebody) - but she only offer vitriol and claimed to not be patriot.


I had hoped to learn more about NZ gov, but no only vitriol - i do know about your nation's history - 1867 - then 1929 (when you became effectively independant - though not fully - Bit privy council still had to affirm your nations rulings - unitl 1982.Chjarter of Rights and freedoms.

only sad that veg offers no education - just vile. so still remain ignorat of NZ histroy - i assume they prob had the same hsitroy as your nation - with incrimental independace, but for me to learn it will not come fro the bitch. i will have to do my own homework.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Immanuel Can »

gaffo wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:50 am I affirm evolution and survival of the fitest for all animals per the mechine of evolution.
Then you affirm violence and the spirit of devil-take-the-hindmost, in addition to whatever sociable instincts you also advocate. For both of those things are instincts, and both, said Darwin, are central in survival-of-the-fittest.
evil = infinate selfishness.
Says who?
tha tis my view - and if you read your book - the bible - you would concure wiht my veiw on th nature of evil.
Heh. I do read my book...every day, always. But its view of evil is different from yours, I would say. Biblically speaking, some actions are just plain evil, and "good" is not necessarily oriented to survival.

The greatest Person in the Bible died because He always did the right thing. Of course, He rose again. But he also instructed his followers to lay down their lives for each other and for the truth. So that's certainly not Darwinian.
---------------thanks for reply - i lik eyou you have honour and heart and is a kind person - so i like taling to you.
Absolutely, likewise. I think the way we are able to talk to each other is evidence of the fact that two people can disagree about some things, agree about others, and get along with civility and mutual respect. And I thank you for your part of that.
PS - you asked me "what makes instinct evil" - nothing!
But the instinct for violence, or the unrestrained sexual appetite, or the instinct to anaesthetize oneself with chemicals, or the instinct to mistrust strangers, or the instinct to steal...these are not "evil"? They're all instincts that do have survival value...except, perhaps for the desire to indulge in chemicals. So what do you make of them? Are any evil?
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DanDare
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by DanDare »

What do we mean by "evil"? Is it causing harm? Is it causing harm with intent to cause harm? Is it causing harm because you are indifferent to harm caused? Is it causing harm by mere accident even if you regret it later?

Let's pick the simplest one to work with, causing harm from malice.

Then what is the "problem of evil" given that? It is a problem only with respect to certain definitions of a god and reality. That is : God is almighty, God is perfectly good, and evil exists.

Epicurus states it thus:
Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?
(as ascribed to Epicurus by David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). )

None of this has any relevance to the question of a god existing, Only certain proposals as to the nature of a god and the world.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

DanDare wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:58 am What do we mean by "evil"? Is it causing harm? Is it causing harm with intent to cause harm? Is it causing harm because you are indifferent to harm caused? Is it causing harm by mere accident even if you regret it later?

Let's pick the simplest one to work with, causing harm from malice.

Then what is the "problem of evil" given that? It is a problem only with respect to certain definitions of a god and reality. That is : God is almighty, God is perfectly good, and evil exists.

Epicurus states it thus:
Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?
(as ascribed to Epicurus by David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). )

None of this has any relevance to the question of a god existing, Only certain proposals as to the nature of a god and the world.
What do we mean by "evil"?
Fair question.
I listed the following link earlier from SEP which an idea of what is "Evil" in the broadest and narrowest sense.

The Concept of Evil
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/#:

Also note the loads and tons of empirical research on the Concept of Evil - google.

From the above, I defined 'evil' as;
Evilness is represented by human acts and thoughts which impacts are net-negative to the well-being to the individual[s] and therefrom the whole of humanity.

What is 'well-being'? see;
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30983

In my case, what is evil is represented within a continuum from the broadest sense to the narrowest sense of the degree of evil-ness.
For example if genocide is the 99/100 of evilness then at the other extreme petty-crimes would be 5/100 of evilness.

The point of the OP is,
if God is omni-whatever and so powerful with the most extreme of fine-tuning, why God did not fine-tune away any degree of evil_ness by relatively-minute human beings.
Why do God allowed say, little children and even babies be sexually tortured by humans for pleasure?

The typical excuse from theists is,
God knows what God is doing for his own reasons.
That is a very sick response.

In the first place, there is no God to start with.
God is an Impossibility to be Real
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24704

Why the idea of God [illusory] emerged onto the consciousness of man is due to the need to resolve an inherent existential crisis; the origin of God is grounded on human psychology and not ontological as some thing that exists as real.

There are others who recognized the inherent existential crisis and resolved its associated problem realistically, effectively and optimally rather than relying on an illusory God as a psychological crutch. This idea of an illusory God as a psychological crutch has directly contributed to much evil and violence in the world, and will continue to do so in the future.

Since it is IMPOSSIBLE for God is not real, there is no question of the 'Problem of Evil' related to a God.

Thus the need for secular objective morality & ethics to prevent and reduce theistic-driven and all other secular evil and violence.
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DanDare
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by DanDare »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:29 am...
I think what I read from you is the following:

Defined gods of many sorts cannot exist: e.g. Omni everything fails when the problem of evil is put forward.
Evil can include bad stuff that happens to people (the example in the article includes a tooth ache).
Believing in gods can lead to acts of malevolent evil in the narrow sense.
We should all be working as humans toward removing evils, especially intentional harms.

Is that it in a nutshell?
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

DanDare wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:25 am
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:29 am...
I think what I read from you is the following:

Defined gods of many sorts cannot exist: e.g. Omni everything fails when the problem of evil is put forward.
Evil can include bad stuff that happens to people (the example in the article includes a tooth ache).
Believing in gods can lead to acts of malevolent evil in the narrow sense.
We should all be working as humans toward removing evils, especially intentional harms.

Is that it in a nutshell?
Mostly correct but note my definition of what is evil, i.e.

From the above, I defined 'evil' as;
Evilness is represented by human acts and thoughts which impacts are net-negative to the well-being to the individual[s] and therefrom the whole of humanity.

What is 'well-being'? see;
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30983

So toothache is not an evil human act, unless one deliberate cause another to have severe toothache all the time, but then this is a low degree evilness.
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attofishpi
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by attofishpi »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:29 am God is an Impossibility to be Real
Love that (tho u have been repeating it 4 some time).

Y don't U explain your deep under_standing of physics that is going to support U in that statement.. :twisted:
Belinda
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Belinda »

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
So toothache is not an evil human act, unless one deliberate cause another to have severe toothache all the time, but then this is a low degree evilness.
Intention as a moral thing is an event that can be historically dated via the Old Testament.

More recent history shows superstitious people even to the present day believe that illness and suffering are the sufferer's deserts for their misbehaviour against some authority or other.

Obviously V A is in the former group.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Immanuel Can »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:04 am The "Problem of Evil" has been claimed by many non-theists [atheists] to be the 'silver bullet' against the theists' claim God exists.
Ironically, the opposite is true.

If you ask an Atheist why evil exists, he can give you nothing plausible at all. And since he cannot, he cannot even legitimately raise a "problem of evil." For as per Atheism, what is, is neither good nor bad in any durable sense; it simply is what is, the accidental product of an indifferent process of evolution. Some people live, some die. Some have fun, and some suffer. There's no "evil" in it, because evolution never promised the Atheist any equality in the matter. And there's the sum and total of the whole matter, from an Atheist view.

The Atheist has nobody to indict with that, and no grounds upon which to indict anybody, because he has no genuine "evil." It was guys like Nietzsche and Hume who first pointed this fact out...and their Atheist credentials are surely unimpeachable.

"The problem of evil," is thus a problem that can only occur for an agnostic or a Theist. It cannot possibly even BE an Atheist problem...not if the Atheist really believes his Atheism.

Maybe we should talk about the Atheist problem of even finding "evil."
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Hermit Philosopher
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Hermit Philosopher »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:04 am What is the latest and strongest defense from theists [with references and links] to counter against the Problem of Evil.

Dear Veritas Aequitas

I have ideas and I do not consider them exceptionally weak, at least. But whether or not they be in line with the latest (academic) ones or with most theists’ in general, I dare not say...


Quick summary of the traditional Problem of Evil:
Why does an immanent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and good God allow Evil?


a) Assuming we may not contest above description of God, my solution will require a (re)definition of what is meant by “all there is to know” in relation to God’s omniscience:

If physicality is a sensorial effect (the experience or interpretation of what is, so to speak), whiles what actually is, is immaterial (e.g. binary data/information) and God actually is, then God need not know what is not, in order to be omniscient.

Put in a different way: “God knows the symphony but cannot hear it, save through the ear of Man.”

The experience of what is, is not knowable until it is experienced, which is why you can know something (e.g. an equation) without knowing what it is like, or the exact implications of it in practice. You’d still know “all there is to know” about what actually is (abstract, immaterial existence).


b) If what actually is, is immaterial (e.g. binary data/information), then Evil does not exist - except for as a sensorial effect; an experience within physicality.*

(*) Excluding certain types of cognitive abnormalities and other potential physiological obstructions to Man’s ability to empathise, understand cause/effect, etc, one possible definition of Evil is as a state caused by unaddressed or misdirected pain.


Humbly
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Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:07 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:04 am The "Problem of Evil" has been claimed by many non-theists [atheists] to be the 'silver bullet' against the theists' claim God exists.
Ironically, the opposite is true.
Surprise your knowledge on the above is so shallow.
If you ask an Atheist why evil exists, he can give you nothing plausible at all. And since he cannot, he cannot even legitimately raise a "problem of evil." For as per Atheism, what is, is neither good nor bad in any durable sense; it simply is what is, the accidental product of an indifferent process of evolution. Some people live, some die. Some have fun, and some suffer. There's no "evil" in it, because evolution never promised the Atheist any equality in the matter. And there's the sum and total of the whole matter, from an Atheist view.

The Atheist has nobody to indict with that, and no grounds upon which to indict anybody, because he has no genuine "evil." It was guys like Nietzsche and Hume who first pointed this fact out...and their Atheist credentials are surely unimpeachable.

"The problem of evil," is thus a problem that can only occur for an agnostic or a Theist. It cannot possibly even BE an Atheist problem...not if the Atheist really believes his Atheism.

Maybe we should talk about the Atheist problem of even finding "evil."
Note I listed the following link,
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept-evil/
Also check out the bibliography therein.

There are already tons of research on 'what is evil' the 'concept of evil' is well understood by most at least intuitively.

Where human acts of examples like
genocides, mass murders, mass rapes, mass torture, torture of babies for pleasure, etc.,
are categorized as 'evil' [or whatever the word] and not something good and which is not acceptable by the majority of normal humans,
no normal person would dispute that as 'evil' or whatever the term is used.

It is definite, non-theists will agree with the above.
Where theists reject the above, they are not normal human beings.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Hermit Philosopher wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:14 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:04 am What is the latest and strongest defense from theists [with references and links] to counter against the Problem of Evil.

Dear Veritas Aequitas

I have ideas and I do not consider them exceptionally weak, at least. But whether or not they be in line with the latest (academic) ones or with most theists’ in general, I dare not say...


Quick summary of the traditional Problem of Evil:
Why does an immanent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and good God allow Evil?


a) Assuming we may not contest above description of God, my solution will require a (re)definition of what is meant by “all there is to know” in relation to God’s omniscience:

If physicality is a sensorial effect (the experience or interpretation of what is, so to speak), whiles what actually is, is immaterial (e.g. binary data/information) and God actually is, then God need not know what is not, in order to be omniscient.

Put in a different way: “God knows the symphony but cannot hear it, save through the ear of Man.”

The experience of what is, is not knowable until it is experienced, which is why you can know something (e.g. an equation) without knowing what it is like, or the exact implications of it in practice. You’d still know “all there is to know” about what actually is (abstract, immaterial existence).


b) If what actually is, is immaterial (e.g. binary data/information), then Evil does not exist - except for as a sensorial effect; an experience within physicality.*

(*) Excluding certain types of cognitive abnormalities and other potential physiological obstructions to Man’s ability to empathise, understand cause/effect, etc, one possible definition of Evil is as a state caused by unaddressed or misdirected pain.

Humbly
Hermit
Note the term 'Omni' do not allow for any exceptions and limitations.
The point is if one exception is allowed within your God's 'omni, then another will claim his God is more 'omni' than your God, thus inferior.
Example, Muslims will claim their Allah is more omni that the Christian God if Christians provide exceptions and limitation to their God.
Therefore God to whoever theists will be 100% omniscient without exceptions and limitations, so their God is inferior to none.

If God is claimed to be omniscient, then God knows absolutely everything, i.e. human thoughts in all its forms., thus will know whatever is evil-in-itself or as defined by humans.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Immanuel Can »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:39 am ...the 'concept of evil' is well understood by most at least intuitively.
You miss the point...probably deliberately, I would suppose.

"Most" understand the concept "unicorn." It doesn't imply they can ride one.

I'll spell the problem out carefully. The problem for Atheism is not one of understanding evil but of justifying their valuation of something as evil, given that they believe they live in an inherently value-neutral universe, in which time and chance are the ultimate explanations.

The evolutionary universe has no features in it that correspond to an objective basis for morality. That's why Peter Holmes can't be convinced; as an Atheist, he's certain that the universe has no such objective properties in it. All alleged "morals" are nothing more than odd, totally subjective phenomena that just happen to be generated by human beings. But the fact that they are has no prior explanation in his world. They might as well have not been...and they have no basis in fact.
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DanDare
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by DanDare »

Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:39 pmThe problem for Atheism is not one of understanding evil but of justifying their valuation of something as evil, given that they believe they live in an inherently value-neutral universe, in which time and chance are the ultimate explanations.
To justify something as evil merely requires defining evil and matching acts to the definition.
To justify the definition is easy. We are evolved animals. Evolved animals care to try and stay alive, live in good health and avoid harm. Those that do not have those built in desires tend to reproduce less successfully by comparison to those that do. To this extent the desire is caused by an objective reason (evolution happens) but is then a subjective set of thoughts and considerations flowing from that base. (I call this the Is of Ought).
Living in good health and avoiding harm is easier if you have a cooperating group, and to maintain a cooperating group you need to detect behaviors that would go against the purpose of such a group and define them as evil, not be done.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Problem of Evil

Post by Immanuel Can »

DanDare wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:30 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:39 pmThe problem for Atheism is not one of understanding evil but of justifying their valuation of something as evil, given that they believe they live in an inherently value-neutral universe, in which time and chance are the ultimate explanations.
To justify something as evil merely requires defining evil and matching acts to the definition.
No, that would be sufficient for an arbitrary "matching": it would not show that the "matching" was warranted.

To justify such a "matching," one would first have to show that evil objectively exists, on what terms it is recognizable, and then how the incident in question matches the criteria for objectively calling something "evil."
To justify the definition is easy.
Let's see...
We are evolved animals. Evolved animals care to try and stay alive, live in good health and avoid harm. Those that do not have those built in desires tend to reproduce less successfully by comparison to those that do. To this extent the desire is caused by an objective reason
Wait...you mean "the desire to survive," right? That's the "objective reason"?
....but is then a subjective set of thoughts and considerations flowing from that base.

So you have a subjective wish to survive, flowing from the desire to survive, which is derived from the fact that some animals survive? Have I got your drift so far?
(I call this the Is of Ought).
There's no "ought" yet. There's just a bunch of "is's". It is the case that some things survive and some die. It is the case that most seem to desire to survive....where's the "ought"?
Living in good health and avoiding harm is easier if you have a cooperating group, and to maintain a cooperating group you need to detect behaviors that would go against the purpose of such a group and define them as evil, not be done.
Too simple, I'm afraid. The world doesn't work out that way.

There is an even more survival-conducive strategy: selective cooperation. That is, I cooperate with the group when it suits me, but am totally free to sacrifice the group objectives to my own, the very minute that their objectives do not serve my desires. Moreover, it will actually enhance my strategy if I convince the REST of the group that they owe me consistency, while I remain free to operate purely strategically. That will give me maximal survival potential, definitely way ahead of anybody who is tied to the "slave morality" (Nietzsche) of the group.

But there is a point behind all this as well: you've oriented your description of the world not to morality, but to survival. Now, morality is only sometimes conducive to survival, but often inhibits it, or even threatens it. When it does, what is the basis on which morality is to be preferred?
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