Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
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23-09-2015, 02:08 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2015 07:33 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
I would like to remind you that the Problem of evil doesn't affect good gods, only an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity (which is a popular definition of a god, but not the only one). The epicurean version of the Problem of evil does mention how a good god can exist in our reality. Furthermore, the admission that some pain can be useful is not an admission that all pain are useful no matter the circumstances. Neither does it represent an admission that pain was necessary to achieve that results. You have provided justification for pain, but no arguments for its necessity. If pain and suffering serve has a motivator for people to do things that do the exact opposite, either by increasing happiness or reducing pain, things that you referred has good things, than, per the problem of responsibility inherent to the Problem of evil, an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity suffers from a serious and dangerous case of fireman/arsonist which makes his existence impossible in our reality. I think this farce has lasted long enough. By the examples you have presented so far, you do support my definition of evil to good extend else you would not offer justification for them and thus can debate using this definition. In fact, both murder, war, family deaths or great poverty are thing you actively don't wish on those you love and care about because they generate extreme pain, anguish, despair, hopelessness, terror, etc. on those who live those events that’s why they need justifications to remain acceptable in your mind. Furthermore you qualified the exact opposite kind of behavior as good. I would even say you don't even wish murder, war, family deaths or great poverty on people you don't especially like even if you can sometime justify them.

In both the cases of Gaius and Kimber story you seem to display a form of survivor bias. That bias is a tendency to attach more importance to those who survive to a specific traumatic event than to those who failed to do so. It's also a tendency to attach more importance to lessons learn from great hardship than those, just has important if not even more, learned under normal or pleasant circumstances. For example, it could lead you to give more value to someone who's learn the importance of the one true love of your life after losing his/her spouse in a tragic accident than to someone who's learn it while looking his/her spouse holding their baby in tender embrace. By itself, that bias is not a problem. It doesn't even weaken your position really, but it does make you value the political changes caused by Kimber's death has more important or just has important than Kimber's life which is in itself widely subjective. I would also like to note that those political changes also brought a certain amount of injustice that did led to feelings of oppression on certain occasions.

Here is a brief list of things for which an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity would share responsibility and tacitly endorse in Gaius story (original): the war between the Roman and the Etruscan, the death of the scribe (and his pain), the murderous intent of Gaius, his atrocious pain, the murderous intent of the Etruscan king, the manufacturing of weapons designed with the intent of killing humans, the core reasons behind the conflict between the two civilisations, the hand of Gaius not growing back, the scribe not returning to life. Kimber's story would have a similar list, but I guess you get the point and can imagine yourself what it would look like. If you are not completely sure, send me a private message and I will reply there so that our posts don't turn into wall of texts both for our sake and those of our potential readers.

WARNING: THIS POST HAS BEEN EDDITED TO BETTER REPRESENT MY POSITION.

PS: sorry for the long post, I will keep the next ones shorter.
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24-09-2015, 02:03 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(23-09-2015 02:08 PM)epronovost Wrote:  I would like to remind you that the Problem of evil doesn't affect good gods, only an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity (which is a popular definition of a god, but not the only one).

Exactly how does the existence of pain and suffering preclude the existence of an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity? Show me the contradiction.
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24-09-2015, 02:59 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(24-09-2015 02:03 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(23-09-2015 02:08 PM)epronovost Wrote:  I would like to remind you that the Problem of evil doesn't affect good gods, only an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity (which is a popular definition of a god, but not the only one).

Exactly how does the existence of pain and suffering preclude the existence of an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity? Show me the contradiction.

I briefly explained why in the third paragraph of my very first post. Could you point out the area(s) that you think are nebulous so that I can address the problem in a specific and efficient fashion and thus prevent you a long and tedious wall of text? Furthermore, I have mentioned it before but I will do it again, the existence of pain isn't covered by the Problem of evil. It's the existence of extreme/agonising pain, terror, despair, hopelessness, oppression, etc., and by extension the actions that causes them, that is treated and at the core of the Problem of evil. Has I mentioned earlier, equivocating agonising pain with more minor types of pain is dishonest. I have been careful to the point of redundancy to always use the same terms to avoid confusion in my posts. Sorry if it makes reading me tedious and boring, but I think it can help our debate.
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24-09-2015, 03:39 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(24-09-2015 02:59 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(24-09-2015 02:03 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Exactly how does the existence of pain and suffering preclude the existence of an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being who cares about humanity? Show me the contradiction.

I briefly explained why in the third paragraph of my very first post. Could you point out the area(s) that you think are nebulous so that I can address the problem in a specific and efficient fashion and thus prevent you a long and tedious wall of text? Furthermore, I have mentioned it before but I will do it again, the existence of pain isn't covered by the Problem of evil. It's the existence of extreme/agonising pain, terror, despair, hopelessness, oppression, etc., and by extension the actions that causes them, that is treated and at the core of the Problem of evil. Has I mentioned earlier, equivocating agonising pain with more minor types of pain is dishonest. I have been careful to the point of redundancy to always use the same terms to avoid confusion in my posts. Sorry if it makes reading me tedious and boring, but I think it can help our debate.

When does pain become extreme? You have provided nothing that distinguishes minor pain that is useful from extreme pain that is evil. I maintain you have no objective reasoning other than your feelings. But feelings do not make the basis of a good argument. Pain and suffering is pain and suffering. It all has utility.

Anyone can re-state the problem of evil like this. If a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God exists and created this world, He would have created it exactly as I would if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God. Since the world was not created as I would have created it, a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God cannot exist.

The problem of evil is simply not a compelling argument against a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God. It is merely just a personal opinion.
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24-09-2015, 04:12 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2015 09:23 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
So if I understand your opposition correctly, you have trouble making the distinction between good and evil while using pain (psychological and physical) has a barometer. It's simpler to do than to explain really. It's all a question of empathy (it's also good to note that extreme pain is also a legal and medical term). It also help to understand the objective of morality and ethic. Considering your choice of two stories, you have seem to express a correct capacity to identify extreme pain, anguish, terror, despair, hopelessness, etc. You also consider them has evil since you clearly qualified the exact opposite behavior has good in post 10. Right now, you seem to engage in a ridiculous attempt of denying the victim in an effort to win a point. Finally, I return to my point of the first paragraph of post 11 and tell you that if the only use of extreme pain, anguish, terror, oppression, despair and hopelessness is to push people to take actions to reduce or prevent those very same sensations than an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God that cares about humanity is nothing more than an arsonist-firefighter which prevent him to exist in our reality.

Anyone can re-state the problem of evil like this. If a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God exists and created this world, He would have created it exactly as I would if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God. Since the world was not created as I would have created it, a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God cannot exist. Note that this argument can also be reversed with the opposite outcome which is pretty much what you are implying so far in my opinion. If it's too difficult/impossible to make the difference between good and evil, it's also impossible to qualify a being omnibenevolent. Thus, you have to strike it out of the list and exit the Problem of evil per one of the ways mentioned in the classical epicurean formulation. God isn't omnibenevolent.

WARNING: THIS POST HAS BEEN EDDITED TO BETTER REPRESENT MY POSITION.

PS: i will try not to do that anymore since its probably very bothering for you and forces you to read my post multiple times to get the slight variations.
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25-09-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(24-09-2015 04:12 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So if I understand your opposition correctly, you have trouble making the distinction between good and evil while using pain (psychological and physical) has a barometer. It's simpler to do than to explain really. It's all a question of empathy (it's also good to note that extreme pain is also a legal and medical term). It also help to understand the objective of morality and ethic. Considering your choice of two stories, you have seem to express a correct capacity to identify extreme pain, anguish, terror, despair, hopelessness, etc. You also consider them has evil since you clearly qualified the exact opposite behavior has good in post 10. Right now, you seem to engage in a ridiculous attempt of denying the victim in an effort to win a point. Finally, I return to my point of the first paragraph of post 11 and tell you that if the only use of extreme pain, anguish, terror, oppression, despair and hopelessness is to push people to take actions to reduce or prevent those very same sensations than an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God that cares about humanity is nothing more than an arsonist-firefighter which prevent him to exist in our reality.

Anyone can re-state the problem of evil like this. If a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God exists and created this world, He would have created it exactly as I would if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God. Since the world was not created as I would have created it, a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God cannot exist. Note that this argument can also be reversed with the opposite outcome which is pretty much what you are implying so far in my opinion. If it's too difficult/impossible to make the difference between good and evil, it's also impossible to qualify a being omnibenevolent. Thus, you have to strike it out of the list and exit the Problem of evil per one of the ways mentioned in the classical epicurean formulation. God isn't omnibenevolent.

WARNING: THIS POST HAS BEEN EDDITED TO BETTER REPRESENT MY POSITION.

PS: i will try not to do that anymore since its probably very bothering for you and forces you to read my post multiple times to get the slight variations.

I haven't forgotten about this thread. Still thinking about a response.
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25-09-2015, 04:02 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2015 04:46 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(25-09-2015 03:52 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(24-09-2015 04:12 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So if I understand your opposition correctly, you have trouble making the distinction between good and evil while using pain (psychological and physical) has a barometer. It's simpler to do than to explain really. It's all a question of empathy (it's also good to note that extreme pain is also a legal and medical term). It also help to understand the objective of morality and ethic. Considering your choice of two stories, you have seem to express a correct capacity to identify extreme pain, anguish, terror, despair, hopelessness, etc. You also consider them has evil since you clearly qualified the exact opposite behavior has good in post 10. Right now, you seem to engage in a ridiculous attempt of denying the victim in an effort to win a point. Finally, I return to my point of the first paragraph of post 11 and tell you that if the only use of extreme pain, anguish, terror, oppression, despair and hopelessness is to push people to take actions to reduce or prevent those very same sensations than an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God that cares about humanity is nothing more than an arsonist-firefighter which prevent him to exist in our reality.

Anyone can re-state the problem of evil like this. If a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God exists and created this world, He would have created it exactly as I would if I were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God. Since the world was not created as I would have created it, a good, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, anthropomorphic God cannot exist. Note that this argument can also be reversed with the opposite outcome which is pretty much what you are implying so far in my opinion. If it's too difficult/impossible to make the difference between good and evil, it's also impossible to qualify a being omnibenevolent. Thus, you have to strike it out of the list and exit the Problem of evil per one of the ways mentioned in the classical epicurean formulation. God isn't omnibenevolent.

WARNING: THIS POST HAS BEEN EDDITED TO BETTER REPRESENT MY POSITION.

PS: i will try not to do that anymore since its probably very bothering for you and forces you to read my post multiple times to get the slight variations.

I haven't forgotten about this thread. Still thinking about a response.

Don't worry, take your time. The Problem of evil is indeed a tricky beast. It's over 1500 years old and an entire school of theology exist only to debate it. Has of now, the only defense to my knowledge that made it moot is to deny the existence of anything evil happening in our reality. It isn't considered a very good defense because of the incapacity for the supporter of that thesis to define evil and good. This prevent you from qualifying a being omnibenevolent. Moral nihilism might be the best approach in my opinion, but it still weak.

PS: I might be unable to reply to this thread during for the next two days. My apologies.
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27-09-2015, 12:35 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(24-09-2015 04:12 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So if I understand your opposition correctly, you have trouble making the distinction between good and evil while using pain (psychological and physical) has a barometer.

In one circumstance the pain Gaius felt would be considered by some a necessary, although unpleasant good. In the other circumstance the pain Gaius felt would be considered by some an unnecessary evil. If all you knew was that Gaius's right hand was consumed by fire and he felt a lot of pain could you say it was good or evil? You could not because one instance of pain sensation is indistinguishable from the other. The only way to make a judgement is to know more about the circumstances of the pain. Pain is just a sensation that provides a lot of utility. If something can be categorized as good or evil it is the circumstance and not the pain which is endured.

So I ask you, what defines a good circumstance and what defines an evil circumstance?
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27-09-2015, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 27-09-2015 08:43 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(27-09-2015 12:35 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(24-09-2015 04:12 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So if I understand your opposition correctly, you have trouble making the distinction between good and evil while using pain (psychological and physical) has a barometer.

In one circumstance the pain Gaius felt would be considered by some a necessary, although unpleasant good. In the other circumstance the pain Gaius felt would be considered by some an unnecessary evil. If all you knew was that Gaius's right hand was consumed by fire and he felt a lot of pain could you say it was good or evil? You could not because one instance of pain sensation is indistinguishable from the other. The only way to make a judgement is to know more about the circumstances of the pain. Pain is just a sensation that provides a lot of utility. If something can be categorized as good or evil it is the circumstance and not the pain which is endured.

So I ask you, what defines a good circumstance and what defines an evil circumstance?

In none of those cases was Gaius atrocious pain a necessity. In both cases, it was a horrible avoidable experience so, are the circumstances surrounding that event like I mentioned in post 11. Justification for atrocious pain do not make it good or even neutral neither do you think so has you have demonstrated it in post 10. I already explained why your justification of atrocious pain, anguish, terror, hopelessness and despair doesn't help in any way to extricate an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being that cares about humanity from the Problem of evil. You post is nothing more than a repeat of your post 8. This makes your final question fundamentally pointless for there is no «good circumstances» for an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being that cares about humanity to commit an evil action or let one happen for reasons I have exposed in my very first post.
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28-09-2015, 12:56 PM
RE: Heywood and epronovost on the Problem of evil
(27-09-2015 01:09 PM)epronovost Wrote:  In none of those cases was Gaius atrocious pain a necessity. In both cases, it was a horrible avoidable experience so, are the circumstances surrounding that event like I mentioned in post 11. Justification for atrocious pain do not make it good or even neutral neither do you think so has you have demonstrated it in post 10. I already explained why your justification of atrocious pain, anguish, terror, hopelessness and despair doesn't help in any way to extricate an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being that cares about humanity from the Problem of evil. You post is nothing more than a repeat of your post 8. This makes your final question fundamentally pointless for there is no «good circumstances» for an anthropomorphic, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being that cares about humanity to commit an evil action or let one happen for reasons I have exposed in my very first post.

The point i am trying to make is that existence of pain isn't a defining feature of good or evil. Pain is a useful but unpleasant sensation. Just because an agent takes takes advantage of that sensation as a means to accomplish a particular end doesn't make the sensation itself evil. Just because pain and suffering exist in this world doesn't not mean a good O3 God cannot exist. It simply does not follow.

If I understand your position correctly, you seem to be claiming that pain can sometimes be good and sometimes be evil depneding on the circumstance. To me that is like saying water can be good when you drink it and satisfy your thirst but evil when you drown in it. Water is water. To say pain is evil is to give it a quality it is incapable of having.
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