Refuting "the problem of evil"
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19-08-2014, 11:10 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
I agree with what has been said above.

If a god is all good (does not "do" evil things) and a god is all powerful (can do anything it wants), then saying this god even is capable of being "absent" (and such an absence causes evil) could only mean a couple of things.
1. The god is in-fact all powerful, but not all good. A god choosing to be absent is equivalent to a god allowing evil to exist. Without pulling out the "his ways are higher than our ways" crap, there is no logical reason that an all good being would condone evil. Unless, maybe god is just a lazy bastard? I don't know.

2. Or, if you are saying a god cannot put an end to evil, well then there you go. If there is something a god cannot do, then this god is certainly not all powerful.

So all-powerful, or all-good? Pick one, but not both.

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19-08-2014, 11:11 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 11:09 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 09:24 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Do you have a coherent definition of suffering?

I would define "suffering" as my psychological relationship to negative emotions and body sensations.

So it's an experience which is based on negative feelings (like pain) but in fact dependent on how (and if) my psychology relates to (and personalises) those feelings.

Phil

Are you claiming non-human animals do not suffer?

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19-08-2014, 11:11 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
Chas:

Can you please reflect your understanding of my argument back to me? I'd like to check how clearly I have managed to communicate it to you.

Phil
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19-08-2014, 11:20 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 11:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 11:09 AM)phil.a Wrote:  I would define "suffering" as my psychological relationship to negative emotions and body sensations.

So it's an experience which is based on negative feelings (like pain) but in fact dependent on how (and if) my psychology relates to (and personalises) those feelings.

Phil

Are you claiming non-human animals do not suffer?

Precisely my question.

(19-08-2014 11:09 AM)phil.a Wrote:  So it's an experience which is based on negative feelings (like pain) but in fact dependent on how (and if) my psychology relates to (and personalises) those feelings.

Because it looks like he's attempting to define it as a human experience.

If so, that distinction must be defined and qualified. It's evidently absurd to claim that other life (particularly other mammals) does not experience "negative feelings (like pain)". So the difference for him lies in how "his psychology" (very vague) "relates" (very vague) to those feelings.

Is a dog's "psychology" not sufficiently capable of "relating" to those feelings to suffer? An elephant's? A dolphin's? A gorilla's? A developmentally disabled human's?

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19-08-2014, 11:25 AM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 11:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  Are you claiming non-human animals do not suffer?

Nope.

Phil
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19-08-2014, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2014 12:38 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 11:25 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 11:11 AM)Chas Wrote:  Are you claiming non-human animals do not suffer?

Nope.

Phil
Ambiguous answer.

"Nope, they do not suffer."
or
"Nope, I am not claiming that."

???

Adrian

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19-08-2014, 12:00 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
God is infinitely above us. He decides what is "good" and "evil"

Truth seeker.
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19-08-2014, 12:03 PM
RE: Refuting "the problem of evil"
(19-08-2014 11:11 AM)phil.a Wrote:  Chas:

Can you please reflect your understanding of my argument back to me? I'd like to check how clearly I have managed to communicate it to you.

Phil

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.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-08-2014, 12:25 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
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.)

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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19-08-2014, 12:28 PM
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.)

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

(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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