The Problem of Good

Pikachu
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The Problem of Good

Here is my newest argument against god.

Sally, the all-powerful, all-knowing, uncaused causer of the universe, is not exactly your run-of-the-mill God(dess). Rather, she is evil*, in the purest sense of the word. Now, when confronted with Sally - who seems to explain the existence of evil pretty well - counter with a surprising argument: The Problem of Good. How, they ask, in a world ruled by an evil God, is there such thing as good? Now, there are several possible responses. The first is the classic Free Will Defense. Simply: there is no fun in making dolls scream. It would be the equivalent of a human sadist simply listening to a soundtrack of screams (which is not a recording of any real event but is merely some people paid to scream). And eventually, playing with dolls gets boring. So we have free will: it is infinitely more satisfying to see punishment inflicted on a free, autonomous agent. Their screams are their own, not created by Sally simply pushing some metaphysical button on a flesh-puppet. Now, some might rejoin that this does not explain the occurrence of fortuitous natural occurences - sunny days, money found on the sidewalk, and so forth. There is another convincing response here, however: the presence of good makes the evil in the world all that much worse by contrast. Analogously, if one merely beats a child, the child won't be very happy - but think how much more unhappy the child would be if one took it from a life of happiness and love, and commenced to beat it. No-one misses a lollipop until they've had one. On the other hand, one might also respond that if we experienced evil all the time, we'd eventually get inured to the horror - our fortitude would increase and eventually there would be no injuring us. On the other hand, the presence of goodness softens our character, degrades it as it were, and so when suffering returns, we are more able to "appreciate" it. After having been soundly trounced on this front, some might ask why Sally even bothered to create the universe at all. But this is another silly objection. Being cruel to oneself isn't much fun. No, cruelty requires someone to be cruel to. Sally created this world specifically so that she could inflict pain upon us - something she would be entirely unable to do without such a world. So you see, the Problem of Good poses no significant problem for those of us unlucky enough to have experienced a personal revelation from Sally (believe me, be glad you haven't). *Depending on one's answer to the Euthyphro question this has different interpretations. If there are moral facts independent of God, Sally is simply aware of these facts and desires to do the exact opposite. If there are no moral facts apart from God, then it's not the case that Sally commands a certain thing and then acts contrary to it; rather she commands nothing and acts cruelly, for she is simply a cruel sort of God (as opposed to a loving one).

What do you think ?


Rigor_OMortis
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The way I see it, your

The way I see it, your arguments could very well stand in front of a Christian, IF you get him to accept that their God is evil, which, though we atheists do realize that, is a real challenge in itself.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Pikachu
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But if they use evil they

But if they use evil they also fail with my aggressive version of the PoE.

A.
[1] According to religious sources God can communicate directly with man.
[2] Religious sources exist.
[3] God has communicated directly with some men.

B.
[4] From A[3] if God has communicated directly with some men and is omnipotent, God can communicate will all men.
[5] Atheists exist
[6] God has not communicated directly with all men

C.
[7] From A[3] and B[6] If God has communicated something to some men all religious sources should present the same message.
[8] All religious sources have different messages as in the Qu'ran, Talmud and Bible.
[9] God has not communicated the same consistent message to some men.

D.
[10] If God is omniscient he would know that conflicting religious messages would be the source of much evil and suffering.
[11] Much evil and suffering has been instantiated as a result of differing religious messages
[12] God is responsible, from his communicative methods, for much evil and suffering.

E.
[13] Man had no choice in the conflicting messages God commuunicated to some men. From A[3]-D[12].
[14] Delivering conflicting messages to some men was Gods choice.
[15] Much evil and suffering have ensued as a result of God's choices. Back to standard version:

F.
[16] God knows his choices would cause much evil and suffering and does not care...not omnibenevolent.
[17] God did not know his choices would cause much evil and suffering...not omniscient
[18] God knew and cared that his choices would cause evil and suffering but could do nothing about it...not omnipotent.

G.
From A[1]-F[18] an omnimax God does not exist.

God had no time to create time.


ShaunPhilly
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Quote: ...[3] God has

Quote:

...[3] God has communicated directly with some men....

...[6] God has not communicated directly with all men...

[7] From A[3] and B[6] If God has communicated something to some men all religious sources should present the same message.

Strictly speaking, this logic is flawed. The hidden premise is that all all religious sources are actually from God (related to [2] "Religious sources exist"), but this may not be the case. It might be that some religious sources are bogus, while others are not (the criteria for deciding which is which gets dicey...Eye-wink )

[7] fails then because if God has communicated to some men, there is nothing preventing some religious sources coming from those not communicated to by God. This could easily explain why different messages exist, invalidating [9] ("God has not communicated the same consistent message to some men.").

Not that i disagree with [9], only that it doesn't follow, in terms of validity, from [7] and [8] because [7] is invalidly drawn from [3] and [6].

I did like the Problem of Good. It was interesting to see the argument reversed to see how it pans out.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


Pikachu
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Thanks for the correction

Thanks for the correction ShaunPhilly.


Reddragon
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Rigor_OMortis wrote:The way

Rigor_OMortis wrote:
The way I see it, your arguments could very well stand in front of a Christian, IF you get him to accept that their God is evil, which, though we atheists do realize that, is a real challenge in itself.

Yes this is a real challenge. I'm a theist and there's no way you could make me believe that God is evil. Sticking out tongue

If I tell people the Gospel, it's not because I care about whether or not they go to heaven or hell. I do it because I honestly believe that this is God's will and purpose for my life... weeeeeeeee!!!


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Pikachu wrote:F. [16] God

Pikachu wrote:
F.
[16] God knows his choices would cause much evil and suffering and does not care...not omnibenevolent.
[17] God did not know his choices would cause much evil and suffering...not omniscient
[18] God knew and cared that his choices would cause evil and suffering but could do nothing about it...not omnipotent.

G.
From A[1]-F[18] an omnimax God does not exist.


Hi Pika. I kind of disagree with 16.
I don't think knowing his choices cause suffering necessary means he doesn't care or intends harm. It's possible that there's a journey for everyone that leads to happiness and suffering on the way is a necessary part of it.

However, I think this argument can be adapted in a couple of ways to prove another argument. (One I like better! Eye-wink) You've shown that God has allowed people to be confused and not let everyone know the truth. According to some Christians this 'confusion' (that leaves us in disbelief) will lead us to hell. So your argument would show that God knew his choices would lead people to land in hell.
That would definately contradict benevolence as hell is the ultimate bad end and there's no possibility of arguing 'light at the end of the tunnel makes it all worthwhile' like I did to the other one.