God and Evil

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Philosophy Now
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God and Evil

Post by Philosophy Now » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:58 pm

If God is such a nice guy, why is there so much misery and suffering in the world? Kola Abimbola examines an ancient problem.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/8/God_and_Evil

Science Fan
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Re: God and Evil

Post by Science Fan » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:02 pm

I stand by my earlier position --- all God debates revolve around the absurd assumption that a God would be like a person. The problem of evil assumes that a God would be like a person, so if a person was good, was aware of some evil, and did nothing about it, then we can say the person is not morally good. But, how could anyone know what a God would or would not do with respect to stopping evil, even if it could? One can't --- unless one wants to assume that somehow a God would be like a person writ large. That's why I consider all such arguments to be worthless --- because if a God did exist, there is no way it would be like a human.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: God and Evil

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:24 pm

The article has this going for it: it starts with a very important distinction between natural and moral evils. However, there are those who would want to say that natural evils also have a moral dimension. For example, some would want to say that God allowing an earthquake to destroy Lisbon in the 18th Century would fall into the category of a moral evil on the part of anyone capable of causing it or intervening to prevent it. For such people, I don't see any help in this article. That issue is simply passed over.

More than that, there are a couple of major mistakes are in this article, for sure. Some are:

1. Failure to recognize the inherent conceptual distinction between the terms "gods" and "God," which is an analytical distinction, not merely a distinction of preference.

2. The assumption that evil exists and can be indicted, even when we have already denied any objective basis for a knowledge of good or evil (i.e. God, since no one else would be sufficient to ground a more-that-subjective basis).

3. The assumption that all that is of importance to discuss relative to evil or good takes place in mere human lifetimes, and that time cannot span beyond that; or if it does, that somehow events taking place outside of that span cannot be relevant to the assessment of whether "justice" has been done overall.

4. Failure to note any difference between the actions of "foreknowing" and "predetermining" an action.

5. As Science Fan says, the assumption that we are sufficiently well-positioned to take in at least all the relevant variables in formulating the question. (Leibniz, for example, would point out that we have absolutely no adequate line of reasoning to sponsor confidence that this is so.)

But maybe this is some of the "further discussion" for which the author hopes at the end of the article. I hope so, because it's certainly not the last word, nor even a complete word, on the problem.

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Re: God and Evil

Post by Dubious » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:53 pm

Philosophers also need a job. To keep their careers going they're forced to regurgitate the same flim-flam over and over making it a prime directive to avoid the obvious and keep the same commercials on track for as long as possible .

Good & Evil relative to any god is a bread & butter proposition!

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Re: God and Evil

Post by Science Fan » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:50 pm

I think there is a lot of ignorance in the general public with respect to philosophical arguments, which is why philosophers do go over the same ground over and over again ---- people are simply ignorant of the progress philosophy has made on a number of topics. The average theist claims that the only basis for morality can be God, and the people who make such claims are typically unfamiliar with Plato's argument regarding God being a source of morality. As well as numerous others. So, I don't think the philosophers can be blamed for trying to educate a general public that is lazy, but rather, the blame lies with the general population that ignores philosophy.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: God and Evil

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:52 pm

Science Fan wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:50 pm
I think there is a lot of ignorance in the general public with respect to philosophical arguments, which is why philosophers do go over the same ground over and over again ---- people are simply ignorant of the progress philosophy has made on a number of topics. The average theist claims that the only basis for morality can be God, and the people who make such claims are typically unfamiliar with Plato's argument regarding God being a source of morality.
Not so in my case, I assure you. But are you equally aware that the Euthyphro Problem is premised on polytheism, not monotheism? You can see it, right there in the text, actually; it's quite explicitly the conflict among gods that raises the issue. But the same problem simply cannot be posited of the monotheistic God, since there are no divisions of value in God. So that one is a completely "dead horse," to to speak.
...as well as numerous others.


Like? Who else do you think made "progress" with this question? I'd love to know if you know someone. According to all I have ever found, consensus actually is that nobody has. Indeed, in the middle of the last century, this was still generally regarded as THE problem in moral philosophy...how to legitimately ground any objectively binding account of morality in the absence of any objective truth or an Arbiter of truth.

If such a thing can be done, nobody has succeeded in doing it so far.
So, I don't think the philosophers can be blamed for trying to educate a general public that is lazy, but rather, the blame lies with the general population that ignores philosophy.
A harsh assessment, perhaps; but I suppose I can't contest it. It may be reasonable to suppose that it's true there are lazy, philosophically ignorant or naive people out there -- and maybe they're the "general population" (if you say so). But I think it's rather that there simply HAS BEEN no solution to the problem you claim has been solved by modern philosophy. And I would welcome you to be more specific if you think someone actually has. I'd like to look at what they say (if I haven't already).

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Re: God and Evil

Post by -1- » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:50 pm

Science Fan wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:02 pm
--- because if a God did exist, there is no way it would be like a human.
... And He created him in His own image.

I don't see why you are so vehemently arguing against God's being a humanoid. I don't deny that you have solid reasons to say so, but... most theists, who make any claims what God is like within communicative distance from this forum (I.e. not the Hindus), subscribe to one of the Hebrew-Bible (Torah) based myths. They argue about this and other religious topics from the pint of view of the Christian faith, or the Jewish or the Muslim ones.

The god of these three religions can't be but similar to humans. The god himself is quoted as claiming that. Why do we have to continually argue about non-dubious and straightforward facts that are not up for interpretation in the Scriptures?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: God and Evil

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:50 pm
Science Fan wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:02 pm
--- because if a God did exist, there is no way it would be like a human.
... And He created him in His own image.

I don't see why you are so vehemently arguing against God's being a humanoid. I don't deny that you have solid reasons to say so, but... most theists, who make any claims what God is like within communicative distance from this forum (I.e. not the Hindus), subscribe to one of the Hebrew-Bible (Torah) based myths. They argue about this and other religious topics from the pint of view of the Christian faith, or the Jewish or the Muslim ones.

The god of these three religions can't be but similar to humans. The god himself is quoted as claiming that. Why do we have to continually argue about non-dubious and straightforward facts that are not up for interpretation in the Scriptures?
This might state the right case but, we might say, stated in reverse order: rather than saying that "God can't be but similar to humans", wouldn't it be more correct to put it that humans, in some respects, resemble their Creator?

After all, it would have to be the case that the God that created mankind came first, and had more and greater attributes than any particular subset of created beings. He would be the prototype, and they, arguably, only the pale derivative thereof. So rather than deducing that God was a type of humanoid, would it not be more accurate to say that humanoids were, in some regards, resemblers of their Creator?

After all, the phrase is "He created him [i.e. mankind] in HIs own image," not "God was made in man's image." (contra Nietzsche)

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Re: God and Evil

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:19 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm
So rather than deducing that God was a type of humanoid, would it not be more accurate to say that humanoids were, in some regards, resemblers of their Creator?
Uh huh. So before he created the Earth, where was god standing that he needed feet to do so?

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Re: God and Evil

Post by Necromancer » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 pm

The work to make the entire World population God-believing is a colossal task. This takes time (to make people understand it to be good) therefore there are those evil people to do the exact amount of evil that the World experiences.

God exists! :D

uwot
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Re: God and Evil

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:52 pm

Necromancer wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 pm
The work to make the entire World population God-believing is a colossal task.
Well, a lotta gods have tried.
Necromancer wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:24 pm
God exists! :D
Needs a bit of padding.

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Re: God and Evil

Post by -1- » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 pm

uwot wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:19 pm
Uh huh. So before he created the Earth, where was god standing that he needed feet to do so?
God had had a huge number of character traits that were useless for the entire eternity before creation.

I am sure that a believer would think He only made the world in order to make use of His abilities. "All-knowing" is not that impressive when there is nothing to know, and "All-powerful" is also a bit lame when there is nothing in the entire world to control.

In fact, creation (the world) according to a believer has faults ONLY in order to give God a chance to exercise His abilities.

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Re: God and Evil

Post by uwot » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:30 am

-1- wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 pm
God had had a huge number of character traits that were useless for the entire eternity before creation.

I am sure that a believer would think He only made the world in order to make use of His abilities. "All-knowing" is not that impressive when there is nothing to know, and "All-powerful" is also a bit lame when there is nothing in the entire world to control.
That's pretty much the introduction to a fairy story I used to tell my kids: Once upon a time, there was a teeny tiny dot. The teeny tiny dot was everything, knew everything and could do anything. But there was nowhere to go, nothing to find out and nothing to do. Poor teeny tiny dot; she was bored and lonely, so one day, she squeezed her nose and blew herself up into a gigantic universe. Et voila! Big bang theory for bedtime.
-1- wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 pm
In fact, creation (the world) according to a believer has faults ONLY in order to give God a chance to exercise His abilities.
Depends on the believer. There are some that will throw their toys out of the pram if you suggest their god is less than perfect.

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Re: God and Evil

Post by attofishpi » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:35 am

Kola Abimbola wrote: What conclusion can we draw from these? Are we now in a position to conclude that the belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God is positively irrational? Perhaps not. For there are still some rational options open. The theist could simply modify his claims by saying that although God is both omnipotent and benevolent, He is only predominantly so.
Who is this 'theist' that must modify his claims? The church is the great salesman of the one side of God (love/benevolence). They certainly do not preach the 'evil' side of God, even though the Old Testament is full of it...so I guess - it's the theist that only believes in what is preached that Kola is talking about (the narrow-minded, shortsighted ones...the stupid ones)
Kola Abimbola wrote:For instance, one could rationally maintain that God is omnipotent and benevolent in issues of love, marriage and the family; but malevolent in issues of adultery, robbery and theft.
But Kola missed the word 'omnipotent' in his mentioning of the malevolence of God.
Kola Abimbola wrote:Note however that a theist who adopts this move would simply be defining ‘omnipotence’ and ‘benevolence’ in a way that suits him.
...and I might add, a way that is a true and accurate comprehension of God.
Kola Abimbola wrote:The theist would thereby be providing a solution to a problem of evil which is quite different from ours.
Ours? Who is Kola speaking on behalf of here, and where is there a problem with regards to the accountability of God and the existence of evil?
Volcanoes are not evil. Some 'men' are evil.
Kola Abimbola wrote:Indeed, a theist could parry the problem by distinguishing between knowledge and belief, and, thus, claim that his belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God need not be known to have an instantiation. If the belief in such a God functions significantly in his way of life, perhaps, that is enough legitimacy for the belief.
Could, would, should? Who cares?

My experience of God/'God' is that yes it has times where it is benevolent with me, and times when it is downright f'ing evil for my past indiscretions where I cross a certain line that has been drawn by which to live my life by. Times where, I admit, I have no right to Christ's 'salvation' for those past indiscretions, with the suffering that that fella went through.

I agree, to believe God is omnipotent and 'wholly good' is irrational.

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Re: God and Evil

Post by -1- » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:39 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:30 am
-1- wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 pm
In fact, creation (the world) according to a believer has faults ONLY in order to give God a chance to exercise His abilities.
Depends on the believer. There are some that will throw their toys out of the pram if you suggest their god is less than perfect.
However, a mentally cute believer would note that I just justified religions, and how come a perfect creator creatied an imperfect thing.

Because the cute believer would have noticed that I did not claim that god or the creator is imperfect. I just noticed or suggested that an otherwise perfect creator created a nevertheless non-perfect world. If the world was perfect, then god would still have no use for his omnipotence and omniscience. Omnipotence is to right the wrong, omniscience is to know the right from wrong. Omniscience tells him who is a sinner; if there were no sins (which is quite a natural expectation of and in a perfect world) then his omniscience would be useless, it would lay in farrow. If there were no sinners, he would not need to sit judgement, so again, his omnipotence would be useless, it would lay in fallow, in case I used the wrong consonants in the first instance. The influence of Mia Farrow on my philosophy.

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