Refuting "the problem of evil"
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17-08-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(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

Gobbledygook. Deconstructionist nonsense.

Harm. Actual harm disproves your thesis.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-08-2014, 06:53 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
If evil is a delusion as you suggest, then please explain the bible verse in Isiah where it says - "I make peace and create evil, I the Lord do all these things"


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17-08-2014, 06:56 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 02:58 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  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.

Wait. What ? You are seriously saying you think evil angels exist ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-08-2014, 07:54 PM
Re: Refuting "the problem of evil"
If evil is merely our human way if categorizing harm and doesn't come from above.

There's no value to fearing or worshiping that God which exists in the world.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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17-08-2014, 09:26 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.

And thus why I said to add it.

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17-08-2014, 11:12 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2014 11:44 PM by Ray Butler.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 03:50 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 03:30 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  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.

A rich person has many friends...until bankruptcy; if the most powerful people in the world only use that influence for their own ego and to get their way then people would be right to question if they should have that position, even if they can never be removed from it, but why would they care? They probably wouldn't, but then they are sick bastards with psychological disorders, if you are going to endorse a perfect God then he has to be perfect, not a raging narcissist.

edit; rather a God that rules by Power, rather than by Right, as you have described is actually the definition of Satan, ironically.
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17-08-2014, 11:12 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2014 11:24 PM by Ray Butler.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 06:56 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 02:58 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  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.

Wait. What ? You are seriously saying you think evil angels exist ?

No.

edit; To elaborate I was making a point; if Evil exists, which I do not believe in, then it would do more to prove the existence of God than not, because in a universe where an absolute negative exists there would logically be an equal opposite, absolute good, to balance it.
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17-08-2014, 11:39 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 03:50 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 03:30 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  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.

Consider

All of the old testament laws were made to test the faith of the people. Breaking those laws revealed their lack of faith, love, and trust for their handler, hence the intense punishments.

Breaking the laws weren't exactly the reasons why Israel was punished. I think the intent behind breaking those laws, the rebellious attitude, was the primary factor involved.


Confused The actions of those around us reveal to us if they truly care about us.
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17-08-2014, 11:50 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(17-08-2014 11:39 PM)Spiky Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 03:50 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  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.

Consider

All of the old testament laws were made to test the faith of the people. Breaking those laws revealed their lack of faith, love, and trust for their handler, hence the intense punishments.

Breaking the laws weren't exactly the reasons why Israel was punished. I think the intent behind breaking those laws, the rebellious attitude, was the primary factor involved.


Confused The actions of those around us reveal to us if they truly care about us.

I think the laws of the Pentateuch were all about making the Israelites dominant as a nation, not about loyalty to God, but it was convenient to sell it that way. In that way breaking the law was treason, not blasphemy.
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18-08-2014, 12:29 AM
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

It's a good question, and I'd explain it using the differentiation that buddhists make between "pain" and "suffering" because it's another perspective on the same underlying phenomenon.

"Pain" is defined as the actual direct experience which occurs when someone (say) sticks a needle in my finger, whereas "suffering" is defined as the negative stories and beliefs my mind might create about the pain, e.g. perhaps I'll decide that the person "should not" have stuck a needle in my finger and get all angry about the fact it happened and have my whole day spoiled by feeling angry and thinking obsessively about how wrong and unjust it was that this person abused me in that way.

The buddhists say that pain is not optional in life, but suffering (the mind's relationship to the pain, e.g. all the psycological drama it might create around the situation) is optional. They also say that in real life, quite often the mind-created "suffering" is by far the most unsavoury aspect of the negative experience. Perhaps in the story above, I get angry about what has happened and punch the person who needled me, he then punches me back and breaks my nose, e.g. my reactivity to the situation leads to further actual pain.

To give an example of pain that did not involve "suffering" as defined above, the most emotionally painful experience I've had to endure happened a few years ago when my mum died. We were very close so it was a very painful and disturbing experience, but because she was quite old, and because I see death as just part of the natural order of things, at no point in the process did my mind go into reaction with what was happening and judge it as "wrong". So there was emotional pain, but there was no "suffering" because I was at peace with what was occurring, it was a challenge but it felt to be a proper and normal rite of passage for me.

On the one hand, whilst I would never have chosen the experience if I'd had the choice, on the other hand it was a very rich emotional experience which I feel has given me a much, much deeper appreciation for all life, including my own. So in retrospect I cannot really say it was a "bad" experience, even though it's true that I'd love so much to have my mother back.

Phil
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