Refuting "the problem of evil"
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17-08-2014, 12:34 PM
Refuting "the problem of evil"
The "Problem of Evil" is a philosophical argument for the non-existance of God, the argument goes that the existence of Evil disproves the existence of God as commonly defined (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent).

My refutation of "the problem of evil" is that Evil does not exist (it's an irrational concept), e.g. Evil does not resolve to actual transcendentals.

It is very true that humans perceive Evil, but my opinion (formed by deconstructing my own experience and perceptions of "evil") is that such a perception is constructed not from an experience of truth, but rather from an erroneous, mis-placed exception of goodness in a situation where in fact there is little or no goodness present.

So in other words, any experience I have of "Evil" is a psychological projection of my own erroneous beliefs about the world, so as a subjective experience, it's essentially a delusion of mine.

Here's a concrete example which hopefully makes what I am saying a bit more visible.

Few rational thinkers would regard crocodiles as "evil". They don't have much compassion but in fact being straightforwardly and inconsiderately carnivore is just their natural crocodile nature. From a safe distance, it's possible to look at crocodiles and note that they are cool animals.

Yet if a human being were to behave in a similar manner (just simply eating random people whenever hungry), many would regard them as disturbingly evil. The difference in subjective experience between witnessing crocodiles and witnessing humans eating people is based on our expectations of how humans will behave, e.g. is based on our pre-conceptions about humans, so it's based not on what we do know about them but on what we don't know about them. Someone with a damaged limbic system (the emotional centre of the brain) might reasonably entirely lack normal levels of human goodness, and might reasonably tuck into a meal of barbecued human simply because he lacked the 2nd person awareness of the human as another equivalent entity to himself.

An absence (of goodness) is not a presence (of evil).

Phil
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17-08-2014, 12:36 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
How would you address this problem if one were to substitute the word "evil" with "suffering"? Consider

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17-08-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
1 child being raped disproves an all powerful benevolent deity. Once you start equivocating you either put your imaginary friend in to the non-omnipotent category or the non-benevolent one.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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17-08-2014, 01:58 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
If evil doesn't exist, then the biblical god does not exist. The bible is certainly replete with examples of evil and even describes god as the creator of evil.

Though if you consider evil a mere construct of the imagination, then god can be considered as a mere construct of the imagination.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-08-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
Good and evil is the way we humans perceive things. A crocodile is not evil because like the rest of the life organisms that we have discovered don't have the intellectual capacity to define things as good or bad. Also human are omnivore this mean that they kill other animal to eat too but we don't call all the human race evil.
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17-08-2014, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2014 03:24 PM by Ray Butler.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
I would argue the existence of Evil would support the existence of God because Satan doesn't believe in God but he damn sure knows God exists.

But I agree; we have our human perspective and we inherently judge things according to it and our experiences of reality, usually where pleasure is good and pain is bad, although indulgence of pleasure can lead us to a world of pain(and visa-versa), and some things are more than just good or bad that we invent categories of absolute to define them, like divine and evil.

But human perspective and experience is valid, we are inseparable from it, so denying it as a value is irrational itself, just we need to learn to see things for what they really are and be able to discipline impulses where appropriate.

Beliefs are not about truth at all, they are about the strength to deal with life, so an approach to remove them with facts will invariably fail, it is when you can show how a belief is not giving strength that it can be defeated. But life isn't victorious when we allow the terrible to make us terrible; it is very much about enduring the terrible while working to solve it, and for that we will need to find the strength.

I will say that beliefs can be based on facts, but belief can really just be how we choose to interpret facts, notably in a way that gives us more strength than a clinical, cynical or apathetic interpretation.

(edit; it wouldn't just be preconceptions that are based on our experience, but on ideals we haven't yet experienced; I have an optimistic view of humanity, mostly because I'm isolated and guarded from its realities, my sister is a cop and she is a Conservative as a result)
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17-08-2014, 03:22 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 12:36 PM)Vosur Wrote:  How would you address this problem if one were to substitute the word "evil" with "suffering"? Consider

Let's add 'Needless' before that suffering.

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17-08-2014, 03:24 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 03:22 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 12:36 PM)Vosur Wrote:  How would you address this problem if one were to substitute the word "evil" with "suffering"? Consider

Let's add 'Needless' before that suffering.

That is not a necessary concession to an omnipotent benevolent deity. If he was all powerful he could use any means to reach his end. All suffering is by definition needless to such a being.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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17-08-2014, 03:30 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 03:24 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 03:22 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Let's add 'Needless' before that suffering.

That is not a necessary concession to an omnipotent benevolent deity. If he was all powerful he could use any means to reach his end. All suffering is by definition needless to such a being.

You forget the interpretation of God ruling by Right rather than by Power; such a being could just force its will arbitrarily, that would create and environment of morbid fear, I think even such a being would appreciate the need for its will being observed because it deserves to be, not because we will be crushed for not.
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17-08-2014, 03:50 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 03:30 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 03:24 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  That is not a necessary concession to an omnipotent benevolent deity. If he was all powerful he could use any means to reach his end. All suffering is by definition needless to such a being.

You forget the interpretation of God ruling by Right rather than by Power; such a being could just force its will arbitrarily, that would create and environment of morbid fear, I think even such a being would appreciate the need for its will being observed because it deserves to be, not because we will be crushed for not.

Why would such a being be concerned with such mundane things though?

He spins the galaxies into motion and spoke the universe into existence, but cares whether you work on the Sabbath?

Why not care whether an ant uses it's pincers to carry grass or dirt? There's a lot more of that going on, that would keep god busy being pissed at ants, he could use his holy magnifying glass to punish them.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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