Refuting "the problem of evil"
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18-08-2014, 03:34 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 03:14 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 02:44 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Sorry Pal either he is not omnipotent or he is not benevolent. You can equivocate all you want the fact that every day millions of innocent children are raped/killed/starve to death disprove there is any kind of Benevolent Omnipotent intercessory Deity.

Thanks for your response. Can you please reflect back your understanding of the concept of dualistic perspectives versus nondual perspectives, as explained in my previous post?

Before going any further, I'd like to be sure we are both on the same page.

Phil

I feel no need to bother as it is not germane to the topic at hand. If you are proposing an Omnipotent Intercessory Benevolent Deity the Problem of evil shows it is impossible. Remove either Omnipotent or Benevolent and the paradox ends. The classical solution in the case of Yahweh Sabot is to lose the Benevolent part. Up until the enlightenment a ruthless dictatorial God made sense as that was how life was structured, after the enlightenment however different values came to the fore. So it makes sense as to why in our modern world the Abrahamic god is a solid no go unless you jump through hoops to soften him.

(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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18-08-2014, 03:42 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2014 03:55 AM by Vosur.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 12:29 AM)phil.a Wrote:  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
I'm sorry, but that response seems like a massive cop out to me. When I say "suffering," I'm talking about conditions which are so painful that they drive those who suffer from them to suicide and conditions like this.

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18-08-2014, 04:10 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 01:12 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 02:58 PM)Ray Butler Wrote:  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.

Sure! I do not deny that the experience of "evil" exists. The subjective experience of spotting evil is very real. What I deny is that the experience resolves to a meaningful aspect of reality outside of a human mind. Rather, it resolves to an aspect of the human mind itself, namely - erroneous preconceptions that person might have about reality.



Quote: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.

Yup I agree with that, I think perhaps beliefs are always based on some sort of fact (e.g. some sort of direct experience) but frequently the facts held don't actually provide necessary and sufficient evidence for the belief, or alternatively there is some error of reasoning in the inferences made from the evidence.

I guess you could say the human perception of "evil" is an example of that! There is an actual experience, but an unsubstantiated and erroneous belief at the back of our mind cause the experience to be mis-interpreted.

Phil

I agree with what you are saying, both the response and O.P; facts are vital to solving serious real world problems, but we have to remember that life isn't always so serious; a lot of the problems with both the religious and scientists is they forget that "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend" and "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".

There are a few key things to dealing with serious issues, one is our state of mind, another is the relevance of information; we are looking for the optimal application, that is not just the most practical application on its own but a decent balance with morality needs to be included, so revealing facts, defining appropriate, and finally combining them for valid direction is terribly exciting fun. Knowledge is one thing but what we should do with it may not be what we end up doing with it, so this inherently implies there is more to the process than clinical engineering.
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18-08-2014, 04:47 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 03:34 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 03:14 AM)phil.a Wrote:  Thanks for your response. Can you please reflect back your understanding of the concept of dualistic perspectives versus nondual perspectives, as explained in my previous post?

Before going any further, I'd like to be sure we are both on the same page.

Phil

I feel no need to bother as it is not germane to the topic at hand.

If in fact you lack understanding of my post, how do you know it's not relevant?

Phil
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18-08-2014, 05:01 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2014 05:05 AM by phil.a.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 03:42 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I'm sorry, but that response seems like a massive cop out to me. When I say "suffering," I'm talking about conditions which are so painful that they drive those who suffer from them to suicide and conditions like this.

It depends on the situation, but I don't see anything inherently wrong with suicide, in that if I had a very painful condition for which there was no realistic possibility of relief, I'd consider suicide a rational solution to that. I've already thought this through personally, if I end up in such a situation I expect to be ending my life on my own terms.

"Suffering" for me in the above situation would be to go into denial of the hopelessness of my situation and carry on enduring the pain, even though I could put an end to it if I chose to. Sure, that could get quite gruesome with any number of degenerative illnesses, but actually it's optional.

Fear of death is an irrational fear, there's nothing to fear in death because when it happens I don't realise it's happened because I'm dead. How perfect is that?

Anyone who has the courage to look their own situation directly in the eye with compassion and honesty always has the option of pulling the plug.

Phil
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18-08-2014, 05:40 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 03:22 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If however reality was caused to be the way it is (as is proposed by religions with creation deities), then the very nature of reality carries with it an underlying causation and intent by a being with sufficient intelligence to have accountability.

Can I refer you to my previous post #24.

It's a bit esoteric (involving a discussion of dualistic versus nondual perspectives) but regrettably the topic in hand is rather esoteric.

In a nutshell: the murder of babies can be adequately explained by an absence, or lack of god in that particular situation.

And an absence of god is not the same thing as the presence of a flawed god.

These are ontologically different as described my previous post.

Quote:If the universe was intended to be a place of such needless suffering, especially when it could have been otherwise

It's just a human story that "it could have been otherwise". Essentially if I make this claim I am saying that I am smarter than any possible god.

Well - if I believe I am smarter than any (other) possible god, then surely what that's saying is that I think I am god!

In short: this seems like a slightly untenable position to me ;-)

Phil
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18-08-2014, 06:45 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 02:43 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 06:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  Harm. Actual harm disproves your thesis.

Harm is deliberately inflicted as a consequence of delusion, not as a consequence of "evil".

Delusion is not about what is, but about what isn't.

Phil

"Evil does not exist" only if you are either reifying "evil" or are a naive Platonist.

Evil exists in the common accepted meaning of evil. People do things which are described as evil, and those actions most certainly exist.

Your argument in no way obviates the Problem of Evil.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2014, 08:22 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 06:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  Evil exists in the common accepted meaning of evil. People do things which are described as evil, and those actions most certainly exist.

If this an argument for the ontological basis of Evil I have to tell you it's circular.

However, I nevertheless agree with it. Effectively "evil" is there simply because people say it is and for no other reason, e.g. it's all in the mind.

Phil
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18-08-2014, 09:17 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 03:14 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 02:44 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Sorry Pal either he is not omnipotent or he is not benevolent. You can equivocate all you want the fact that every day millions of innocent children are raped/killed/starve to death disprove there is any kind of Benevolent Omnipotent intercessory Deity.

Thanks for your response. Can you please reflect back your understanding of the concept of dualistic perspectives versus nondual perspectives, as explained in my previous post?

Before going any further, I'd like to be sure we are both on the same page.

Phil

Oh I understood what you were saying, it's wrong and mostly word salad, but I got it. It is still not germane to the topic at hand.

(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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18-08-2014, 05:05 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(18-08-2014 05:01 AM)phil.a Wrote:  It depends on the situation, but I don't see anything inherently wrong with suicide, in that if I had a very painful condition for which there was no realistic possibility of relief, I'd consider suicide a rational solution to that. I've already thought this through personally, if I end up in such a situation I expect to be ending my life on my own terms.

"Suffering" for me in the above situation would be to go into denial of the hopelessness of my situation and carry on enduring the pain, even though I could put an end to it if I chose to. Sure, that could get quite gruesome with any number of degenerative illnesses, but actually it's optional.

Fear of death is an irrational fear, there's nothing to fear in death because when it happens I don't realise it's happened because I'm dead. How perfect is that?

Anyone who has the courage to look their own situation directly in the eye with compassion and honesty always has the option of pulling the plug.

Phil
No, it's not always optional, and you would know that, had you read the second link I posted. In any case, I don't see how any of that is relevant to the topic at hand.

How do you reconcile the existence of an omnibenevolent deity with the suffering I talked about earlier?

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