Refuting "the problem of evil"
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
20-08-2014, 12:35 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 12:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  You seem to be saying that because 'evil' does not exist except in people's minds that this refutes the "Problem of Evil" argument.

That refutation seems to rely on god's non-responsibility for our mental states.

No, then I haven't managed to communicate it yet. My point is quite subtle even if (in my opinion) it's quite simple.

Consider Ian Brady and this lion.

If you had the choice to describe either as "dangerous" or as "evil", which label would be most descriptive for each entity?

I think most people would probably call Ian Brady "evil", whereas the lion would get the more objective and less value-laden label of "dangerous".

If that matches your opinion, can you explain what lies at the root of the differentiation?

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 12:45 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 12:25 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 12:34 PM)phil.a Wrote:  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
The "problem of evil" only makes sense in the context of the assumption by at least someone that there is a god of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent variety. No such god, no problem of evil because evil could exist without a conceptual conflict in that case. I would disagree with you though that there is no evil itself. Evil is the label that we humans apply to the worst violations of morality by humans. (If you need any convincing that morality exists without a god, there are plenty of previous discussions on this site.)

What you say is true from a perspective, but your argument does not evidence awareness of my perspective.

Can you please reflect back your understanding of my argument so that I can check your understanding of it? In a nutshell, my argument is:

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

A lack of one thing is not proof that something else exists in it's place.

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 12:45 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(20-08-2014 12:35 AM)phil.a Wrote:  If that matches your opinion, can you explain what lies at the root of the differentiation?

Phil

I've literally explained this already in one of the earliest posts. Facepalm

So let me quote myself, from page 3, post 30.


(18-08-2014 03:22 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Evil is attributed to intelligent causation. Animal are not evil, because they generally lack the intelligence required for moral contemplation. Moral accountability extend only as far as your knowledge.






[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 12:47 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 12:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 12:25 PM)Impulse Wrote:  The "problem of evil" only makes sense in the context of the assumption by at least someone that there is a god of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent variety. No such god, no problem of evil because evil could exist without a conceptual conflict in that case. I would disagree with you though that there is no evil itself. Evil is the label that we humans apply to the worst violations of morality by humans. (If you need any convincing that morality exists without a god, there are plenty of previous discussions on this site.)

Once you remove Magic from the equation the Problem of Evil becomes a non-factor.

That is in fact, one way of framing my argument.

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 01:48 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 04:42 PM)Baruch Wrote:  
Quote:What sort of beliefs did you have around the "god" concept
Phil - Everything from God concepts such as the bearded man in the clouds to neo-platonistic apophatic theologia negativa, to Kabbalistic Ayn Sof's & non-dualities, to transcendental Platonistic universals. (Well technically it cannot be "everything" because we are always making up or discovering something possibly new and it is not possible to translate and understand everything)

Granted some of these concepts would by definition be agnostic and not atheistic then I would be identifying through a range of completely atheistic to agnostic positions.
However I have found naturalism to be sufficient with something along the lines of monistic/ontic structural realism, various forms of nominalism & pragmatism with combination of ideas from the rationalist and empiricist philosophies [in a nut shell].

I cannot disprove a "neoplatonistic eminationist panentheism" [in great technical jargon] so I would by definition have to be agnostic to any form of eminationism involving a negatively defined God such as the apophatic/via negativa traditions (in Kabbalah the Ayn Sof, Bhuddism Vipassana non-duality or neti-neti in Hinduist adveita brahamin traditions).

Cool, I appreciate the depth of your knowledge and reflection on this issue! So to clarify - on the subject of universal transcendentals, are you saying that you believe there are none, or simply that you are skeptical that they exist?

Quote:HOWEVER -in all the above traditions, once the God is stripped of ALL attributes including omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence & omnibenevolence you are basically left with NOTHING.
So God is basically nothing. Kind of like a well polished atheism for the sophisticated Smartass.

Correct! But that's really just saying that "god" is "emptiness", or sunyata. So with that point, you aren't telling religion anything that it's not already telling you.

Yes - the absolute is "emptieness".

It's a commonly held scientific view that all the matter and energy in the universe cancels out, this means from an absolute (rather than relative) perspective - the universe is unmanifest (but again less this sounds like gibberish, only from an absolute not relative perspective). The universe sums to Zero, considering 4D spacetime as a single entity, it's a Zero. The experience we have of a solid "manifest" universe is essentially something of an iillusion caused by looking from a relative perspective, e.g. looking at reality from a particular spacetime location (our finite brain, existing at a finite point in history).

At a somewhat abstract level, i think you could define a "human being" as "spacetime looking at itself from a relative spacetime perspective".

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 01:58 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 04:59 PM)Baruch Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 03:49 AM)phil.a Wrote:  I'm hearing a "no".

Well if it ever happens, I'd be very interested to hear about the facts of the experience!

Phil

I didn't say no. I said Yes & No.
In non duality consciousness immersed in total subjectivity the answer could not be given due to the inherent limitations & duality of language.
Satori is defined differently according to different people, cannot be replicated in a way everyone can agree on - so how could one answer such a question ? Certainly by not reading some text which has many interpretations.
Is it Satori according to 無門慧開 or 月林師觀 or 大慧宗杲

I am not asking you if you are enlightened. Clearly it's not possible to give an answer to that question which is both consistent and complete, because an assertion such as "I am enlightened" annihilates it's own truth claim by reifying "emptiness".

I'm asking you if you've had the "Satori experience". The experience itself is an experience that can be claimed, even if it's not meaningful to assert directly on the deeper nature of the experiencER.

We can meaningfully talk about the Satori experience from a relative perspective, in other words.

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 02:11 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 05:21 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Any experience attributed to God is a story. ....and your right IT IS A STORY. Thats precisely the point and why it is deconstructed once it becomes a story.
The experience in phenomenological terms may be described as awe, ecstatic, bliss, joy or wonder - there can be many adjectives.
However I have no problem attributing these experiences as phenomena which are brain dependent & understood via naturalistic methodology. We many not fully understand the underlying mechanism's for all these experiences - but that is no excuse to making stuff up about magical realities, higher transcendental planes & anything supernatural.

I agree that any god-stories which involve magical or supernatural realities are at very best, flawed and incomplete stories simply by the fact of violating the Truth principle.

However - irrational and magical beliefs about a reallity do not disprove that the underlying reality isn't real in fact.

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 02:39 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 05:35 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Or Phil:
In your God story God is not Omnipresent but absent in some places (creating 'lack' and perception of evil).

Ah, great! You've you've got my underlying point about "lack".

OK well consider this - hopefully it's self evident that reality only exists insofar as it actually exists.

Anything I perceive which is unreal - isn't actually a part of actual reality.

E.g. as reality perceptions, human psychological projections are perceptions of mirages, they are perceptions of an unreal "reality".

"God" is only present in what does exit, not in what doesn't exist.

So I can't blame "god" (as the underlying reality) for any psychological projections (mirages) I see in reality.

Because god exists everywhere that's actually real, e.g. everywhere that's not just some sort of mirage, then actually god exists everywhere - e.g. is omnipresent.

Likewise, because god exists everywhere that's actually Good, god is omnibenevolant.

My own psychological projections caused from my erroneous expectation of good in a situation where goodness is lacking (and therefore appearing as "evil") are my mental phantoms, I'm not even looking at the underlying nature of reality when I experience them.

Quote:Atheism just takes it a step further and believes in an omniabsent God.

God is omniabsent in the sense that god is sunyata, e.g god is unmanifest "emptiness". This is why my tongue in cheek nickname for athiesm is "the great perfection".

By which I mean, atheists have a degree of awareness that "god" is unmanifest.

Well - what is the nature of that awareness? Let's look at the looker.

In my opinion, atheists are much closer to an enlightened knowledge of the absolute than many atheists realise!

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 02:44 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 07:35 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 10:50 AM)phil.a Wrote:  I have made an ontological argument that evil does not exist, in the sense that it's a delusion rather than an existential actuality.

In short:

Consider "evil" as a lack of god rather than the presence of a imperfect god.

To give a concrete example: if I am visiting New York and someone breaks into my London flat and steals the contents, it's not reasonable to find me guilty of the crime of theft, even if it could be argued nothing would have been stolen if I'd been present in the flat at the time.

It's not reasonable to consider me guilty of the crime because I wasn't actually there when it happened.

Likewise, "evil" is an absence of god, not the presence of an imperfect god.

Can you please reflect back your understanding of this argument, just so that I can see that I have communicated it clearly to you?

Phil

Yeah... But you're not omnipresent in your example. So that's the distinction. And if you aren't able to be everywhere, clearly your power is limited, and you're not omnipotent.

If evil is the absence of the God, then the God is weak and back to the problem, undeserving of worship.

You can't ignore the important aspects of the question and say you solved it.

"God" is not "weak" simply because he's not present in an unreal reality.

If I have psychological projections, e.g. project irrational mirages (like "evil") into reality, those mirages aren't part of actual reality.

Phil
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-08-2014, 02:45 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(20-08-2014 12:47 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 12:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Once you remove Magic from the equation the Problem of Evil becomes a non-factor.

That is in fact, one way of framing my argument.

Phil

So you remove a magical being capable of suspending the laws of physics? Then yes the Problem of evil is a non-factor without a space wizard aka god.

(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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Revenant77x's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: