Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
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24-11-2013, 01:03 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(23-11-2013 10:53 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Starting in middle school I adopted the saying, "There is no such thing as evil, just bad decisions."

I still hold to that. I don't believe in evil. I acknowledge things for what they are.

Horrible natural disasters.
Brutality of the animal kingdom.
Human selfishness, greed, self preservation instinct/tendencies.
Psychopathy, lack of empathy/sympathy, desensitized to brutality.
Corruption ..usually an intricate web of greed and "necessity"

What is evil to you? I think the "problem of evil" can be easily explained by the following:

Life is not fair, and not all get a fair chance at life.

You know, some time ago I realized that there was actually an answer to the perennial question that always gets asked after a 9/11, a Sandy Hook, a Columbine, an Aurora: "Why?" -- why do people do shit like that?

The answer: because they suffer.

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24-11-2013, 03:06 AM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2013 03:10 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(23-11-2013 02:49 PM)chandlerklebs Wrote:  You people are right. I would need to define evil before I could even present a problem of evil.

I suppose it's my own opinion but I think of evil as something which is directly done to hurt another person against their will such as child molestation or murder. I reject the idea of "sin" but I just feel things are sometimes still wrong.

And since I reject a god that is omnipotent or omniscient, does that make me an atheist?

Ugh. Definitions of atheism. There's about half a dozen different ones floating around out there, fairly closely related but with some important distinctions. What you just said might arguably qualify you under one of the definitions, but not the rest and not the most popular. The typical definitions in use by those who identify as atheists are "don't believe in any sort of god", and "don't believe in a theistic sort of god" (meaning a person-entity with supernatural powers over the world EDIT: who actively uses them to intervene in the world). (Also popular are the "believe it doesn't exist" versions of these "don't believe it exists" definitions.) Rejection of the specific notions of omnipotence and omniscience doesn't qualify for any of these more common definitions.

And ugh, definitions of evil. Personally, I don't think definitions (such as the meaning of the word evil) should be a matter of opinion. Semantic definitions are not absolute truth. They are societal conventions adopted as tools to facilitate communication, by establishing clear representations of a potentially complex concepts by relatively simple sequence of sounds or written letters. (Or motions, for ASL. Phew, does that cover it? Probably not.) Whether you have the "right" definition depends on whether that definition conforms to common usage. Are you using the word in the same way most people think of it? If not, then it fails as a tool for communication, because people won't recognize the concept you are trying to relate when you use it. This is especially true with hotly-debated words such as "evil". If no one agrees on what a word like "evil" (or, say, "God") means, then it fails in its role as a convention for relating an underlying concept. We should discard such words in favor of more communicative words or phrasings, or at the very least effect a field repair by seeking to establish working definitions from conversation to conversation. The whole point of language and semantics is to facilitate the exchange of underlying ideas, not to get bogged down in squabbling or philosophizing over what this word means. I swear, half of philosophy is nothing more than arguing definitions. "What is justice? What is evil?" THEY'RE WORDS! If you two agree on what concepts they represent, use them! If not, forget them and find some other way of communicating about the concepts! Don't spend a three hour debate arguing over which dictionary definition you're using!

.....

[retroactive rant warning]

EDIT: Fine, words are also useful in framing the problems, which is of rhetorical and analytical value, and also in establishing individual and group identity.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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24-11-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(23-11-2013 09:28 AM)chandlerklebs Wrote:  I have already seen that religion fails to answer the basic problem of evil. Do atheists have an explanation of where evil comes from and the correct way to stop it?

Assuming I understand your definition of 'evil,' one would have stop all humans from having needs, wants, and desires.

So in other words....there is no correct way to stop it. Woot.

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24-11-2013, 03:43 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
Evil comes from Lucifer the fallen angel.

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24-11-2013, 03:48 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
We live in an inherently stochastic universe. Random things happen, and some of those things cause suffering. Evil comes from that stochastic nature. Why is it stochastic? It's made up of small enough parts that even if you ignore quantum weirdness we would get "evil" results.

Pretty much everything we think of as "good" requires work to be done to keep entropy at bay.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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24-11-2013, 06:20 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(24-11-2013 03:43 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Evil comes from Lucifer the fallen angel.

...and his minions. Don't forget the minions.

It's the 40th Anniversary so you can see this and this in HD.

(It still scares me and it was made in a pre-CGI era.)
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24-11-2013, 07:23 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(24-11-2013 03:43 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Evil comes from Lucifer the fallen angel.

No, it doesn't. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-11-2013, 07:45 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(24-11-2013 06:20 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(24-11-2013 03:43 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Evil comes from Lucifer the fallen angel.

...and his minions. Don't forget the minions.

It's the 40th Anniversary so you can see this and this in HD.

(It still scares me and it was made in a pre-CGI era.)
I always found "practical effects" more scary than cgi. Have you ever seen the Thing (1982)?
That's some cringeworthy nightmare fuel.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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24-11-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
Views on the nature of evil tend to fall into one of four opposed camps:
*Moral absolutism holds that good and evil are fixed concepts established by a deity or deities, nature, morality, common sense, or some other source.
*Amoralism claims that good and evil are meaningless, that there is no moral ingredient in nature.
*Moral relativism holds that standards of good and evil are only products of local culture, custom, or prejudice.
*Moral universalism is the attempt to find a compromise between the absolutist sense of morality, and the relativist view; universalism claims that morality is only flexible to a degree, and that what is truly good or evil can be determined by examining what is commonly considered to be evil amongst all humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil

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24-11-2013, 09:17 AM
RE: Does atheism solve the problem of evil?
(24-11-2013 03:43 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Evil comes from Lucifer the fallen angel.

Where did Lucifer's evil come from?

...

It's turtles all the way down, isn't it...

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