The "Problem" of Evil

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The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:13 pm

I can imagine a few people will be surprised to find me posting in here...

I've had quite a few telephone discussions with Dan Smith lately, primarily as a result of my offer of help regarding the revamping of his website. Before I did any work on the website, Dan wanted me to understand where it was he was coming from, and what it is he trying to convey.
As a result of this, I spent a *lot* of time reading up on the BPWH, as well as other philosophical musings.

This particular post is to focus on one aspect of this particular philosophy, namely the "problem of evil".

From Wikipedia
In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the question of whether evil exists and, if so, why. The question particularly arises in religions that propose the existence of a deity who is omnibenevolent while simultaneously also being omnipotent, and omniscient[1][2]; attempts to resolve the question under these contexts has historically been one of the prime concerns of theodicy.

Some responses include the arguments that true free will cannot exist without the possibility of evil, that humans cannot understand God, that evil is merely the absence of good, or that evil is a result of a corrupted and fallen world.

There are also many discussions of "evil" and associated problems in other philosophical fields, such as secular ethics[3][4][5], and scientific disciplines such as evolutionary ethics.[6][7] But as usually understood in the Anglo-American tradition, the problem of evil is posed in a religious context.


There is a lot to read on this subject, which came as a bit of a surprise to me, truth be told. I had never really thought about any of this before, primarily because I'm not a religious person, though I have often mulled over whether all of this is here by chance, or as a result of some kind of creator.

Anyway, I personally don't see the problem of evil as actually being a problem, should such an omnibenevolent deity exist. To put it simply:

In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human? All positive human traits come about directly as a result of negative events. Therefore, evil and suffering are a neccessary part of human existence and do not invalidate the existence of a omnibenevolent creator. For anyone to be considered a good person, there needs to be the opposite configuration, right? In the absence of suffering, there is no need for anyone to be good, it would just be a static state of being and that isn't who we are.

I'm not saying there is any proof either way of a creator, but what I am saying is the existence of evil cannot honestly be used as an argument to support the non-existence of one.

Thoughts?

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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby ryguy » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:18 pm

This post of Steve's is significant for several reasons.

1. Steve, as a person who's never been fond of most of the arguments out there "for" a Creator has just offered one of the best counter-arguments against one of the most common and strongest attacks against the existence of a Creator.

2. The post above, in a very powerful way, answers the age-old question: "If God exists, then why is there so much pain, suffering, disease and starvation in the world?"

I've read through a lot of religious websites & books in my time, and in all honesty I've never heard an answer to that argument that really satisfied me - I believe in a Creator but the standard answers many mainstream religions offer in response to the argument usually doesn't feel "right."

Great post Steve...it's reminiscent of the ying/yang concept that Ray has described before in this forum - but your post above simplifies the argument in a way that you don't have to accept the flaws in the surrounding hypothesis in order to accept this simple truth. I don't agree with many of the concepts within hypothesis like the Tree of Life or BPWH - but the single logical argument you've described above rings very true to me.

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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Access Denied » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:17 am

Zep Tepi wrote:In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human?

If that isn’t a circular argument I don’t know what is… :)

“If God wanted us to fly He would have given us wings.”

The Immorality of Theodicies
http://www.strongatheism.net/library/at ... heodicies/

“The crucial point is, that when we accept the perfect solution for the Problem Of Evil, than there will be no evil, because every suffering could be justified. Worse: It would be impossible to act evil. I could torture and murder a young child, but this would be justified for a higher good (whatever the perfect solution is, it could be something else than free will). This would be the end of all moral, which clearly is absurd. The theist couldn’t point to the ten commandments and claim that they are necessary, because one goal of morals – to prevent evil – would be granted no matter how I behave, if he is right with his perfect solution to the Problem Of Evil.”

In my opinion, Evil is a "Problem" that leaves us with only two logical possibilities…

A) God is imperfect.
B) God is nonexistent.

The irony is that in either case, we are imperfect… as is the world we live in.

Personally, I hope it’s not A) because at least with B) the world is what we alone make of it…

“There are those who think that life is nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.

A planet of playthings,
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive.
"The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign"
Blame is better to give than receive.

There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
The cards were stacked against them
They weren't born in lotus land.

All preordained
A prisoner in chains
A victim of venomous fate.

Kicked in the face,
You can pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate.

Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete.
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose free will.”


~ Rush, “Freewill” from the album Permanent Waves

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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby longhaircowboy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:46 am

Zep Tepi wrote:In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human?

Thats a utopian fantasy with no basis in reality. As for the second part of that question- didn't daddy and mommy explain the birds and the bees?
Zep Tepi wrote:All positive human traits come about directly as a result of negative events.

I dare you to prove that. Thats just philosophical musing.
Zep Tepi wrote:Therefore, evil and suffering are a neccessary part of human existence and do not invalidate the existence of a omnibenevolent creator.

If you hadn't used necessary then I might be inclined to agree. Otherwise necessary evil cancels out omnibenevolent.
Zep Tepi wrote:For anyone to be considered a good person, there needs to be the opposite configuration, right? In the absence of suffering, there is no need for anyone to be good, it would just be a static state of being and that isn't who we are.

True we are from static beings but do we really need serial killers roaming the country for others to be on their best behavior? If there was no Hitler would there be no anti semitism? I know this may seem simplistic but to say we need evil to be good, then we need parameters for good and evil. Can someone dislike some other person yet commit no moral or ethical wrong and still be considered good? How do we define good and evil.
Zep Tepi wrote:I'm not saying there is any proof either way of a creator, but what I am saying is the existence of evil cannot honestly be used as an argument to support the non-existence of one.

Thats exactly what the atheists argue. That existence of evil precludes the benevolent creator(see AC above). A Theist would say it's part of the plan. This is all debatable and has been for as long as man could think and will be for eons to come.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Zep Tepi » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:05 pm

Access Denied wrote:
Zep Tepi wrote:In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human?

If that isn’t a circular argument I don’t know what is… :)

“If God wanted us to fly He would have given us wings.”


That is an extremely big if. Who said God wanted us to fly? Hypothetically assuming a God exists, who are we to try and second guess exactly what it is God wants? I'm looking at this from a reality perspective, taking things we know to be true (evil) and trying to explain them in the context of who we are as a species set against the philosophical backdrop that we were created by something or someone, i.e. God.

Access Denied wrote:The Immorality of Theodicies
http://www.strongatheism.net/library/at ... heodicies/

“The crucial point is, that when we accept the perfect solution for the Problem Of Evil, than there will be no evil, because every suffering could be justified. Worse: It would be impossible to act evil. I could torture and murder a young child, but this would be justified for a higher good (whatever the perfect solution is, it could be something else than free will). This would be the end of all moral, which clearly is absurd. The theist couldn’t point to the ten commandments and claim that they are necessary, because one goal of morals – to prevent evil – would be granted no matter how I behave, if he is right with his perfect solution to the Problem Of Evil.”


Where does the justification for evil come from? That has nothing to do with my "argument". The fact of the matter is that many people in our society commit the most atrocious acts you can think of. Regardless of what anyone else says, we don't need a God to eradicate that kind of "personal" evil, we already have it within our powers to prevent it ourselves - yet we don't.* Is that "God's" fault, or is it ours? The way I see it, the only way to 'create' a reality with no evil would be to fill that reality with pre-programmed robots. As it is, it appears we do all have free will and with that free will comes a selection of choices and decisions. For free will to be truly free, some people will make choices that are downright evil.

longhaircowboy wrote:
Zep Tepi wrote:In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human?

Thats a utopian fantasy with no basis in reality.


What utopian fantasy? Are you saying human beings don't have good and bad traits?

longhaircowboy wrote:As for the second part of that question- didn't daddy and mommy explain the birds and the bees?


See, now you've completely lost me. Or are you suggesting that everyone who makes bad choices and commits evil acts can blame it on a poor upbringing? What a lazy cop out.

longhaircowboy wrote:
Zep Tepi wrote:All positive human traits come about directly as a result of negative events.

I dare you to prove that. Thats just philosophical musing.


Umm, yeah. The whole argument is in itself a philosophical one. Maybe I should have wrote "directly or indirectly as a result of negative events". If a parent teaches a young child to be kind, isn't that because some people can be unkind? If not, why would anyone have to be kind in the first place? Doesn't that make sense?

longhaircowboy wrote:
Zep Tepi wrote:Therefore, evil and suffering are a neccessary part of human existence and do not invalidate the existence of a omnibenevolent creator.

If you hadn't used necessary then I might be inclined to agree. Otherwise necessary evil cancels out omnibenevolent.


Only neccessary in the context of having both ends of the scale accounted for. However, It doesn't have to be like that for all time.

longhaircowboy wrote:True we are from static beings but do we really need serial killers roaming the country for others to be on their best behavior?


This has nothing to do with behaviour per se, it is to do with the emotions inside. Some people won't be bothered by the serial killer scenario(!), but many other people will. Some of those people who are bothered will go on to do something about it.

I know this may seem simplistic but to say we need evil to be good, then we need parameters for good and evil. Can someone dislike some other person yet commit no moral or ethical wrong and still be considered good? How do we define good and evil.


Generally, I would say any action a person takes that has a negative effect on someone else would not be something that could be considered good. In any case, we shouldn't have to define it, it should be obvious. Sadly, it doesn't appear to be.

Like I said before, I'm not a religious person but I do find this a very interesting exercise. I've read many arguments both for and against the existence of a creator and found many of the pro arguments to be simplistic, and the against arguments to be lazy. That's just me though.

*Will elaborate if needed.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby ryguy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:20 pm

longhaircowboy wrote:If there was no Hitler would there be no anti semitism? .


I think *both* of you aren't quite following the premise. If you understood the theory Zep's put forth here, then your question would have been:

"If there was no Hitler, would there be no:
- Dramatic increase of women's rights (specifically working rights) following the war
- Massive economic growth
- An end to many race segregation issues in the military and throughout society
- A unification of civilizations throughout the entire western world against a tyranny
- A global recognition of the plight of jewish communities throughout the world and throughout history
- Millions of people across the world feeling united and driven to help others who are suffering or enslaved by dictators"

The list goes on, and my answer would be - quite possibly yes. We can't possibly fathom the number of people who, after learning about the very *evil* atrocities of this dictator, felt motivated to change their lives completely and help others throughout the world who are oppressed or enslaved. Those are likely unsung heroes, motivated by evil to turn their lives to do "good".

At the core of this argument is that in these ways, ultimately "good" comes from many of the "evils" - so instead of the fact that there is evil in the world *disproving* the existence of a source of good, it actually *proves* that even in allowing evil to take place - that source of Good has an ultimate plan and use for those horrible things that serve a much higher purpose which we can barely fathom.

Makes perfect sense to me. :)

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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby lost_shaman » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:44 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:Anyway, I personally don't see the problem of evil as actually being a problem, should such an omnibenevolent deity exist. To put it simply:

In a perfect world with absolutely no suffering or evil of any kind, how can a human being develop the traits that are neccessary in order to be considered human? All positive human traits come about directly as a result of negative events. Therefore, evil and suffering are a neccessary part of human existence and do not invalidate the existence of a omnibenevolent creator. For anyone to be considered a good person, there needs to be the opposite configuration, right? In the absence of suffering, there is no need for anyone to be good, it would just be a static state of being and that isn't who we are.

I'm not saying there is any proof either way of a creator, but what I am saying is the existence of evil cannot honestly be used as an argument to support the non-existence of one.



I basically agree with that, in that it's a flawed argument to argue that because there are 'evil' and bad things that happen in the world that this is an argument against a Creator or God. i.e. There can't be a God because this or that 'evil' happened. Yet bad things happen all the time that certainly are not 'evil' for instance accidents or nature kill and hurt people all the time often these things are just unavoidable. Basically the argument above is invalid because it's too simplistic one must argue that a Creator or God would not have created a physical universe such as this one but would have created something that resembles Heaven instead. Even this argument is invalid because it assumes what a Creator would prefer to create if there is a Creator capable of creating both!
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby lost_shaman » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:19 am

Not to get off topic but I'd like to address a few things that cropped up in this thread. Maybe I can also tie some of these things into the topic...

longhaircowboy wrote:
If there was no Hitler would there be no anti semitism?


I couldn't understand this question. It was actually rampant anti semitism in Europe that influenced Hitler and ultimately helped carry him to power.

"If there was no Hitler, would there be no:
- Dramatic increase of women's rights (specifically working rights) following the war
- Massive economic growth
- An end to many race segregation issues in the military and throughout society
- A unification of civilizations throughout the entire western world against a tyranny
- A global recognition of the plight of jewish communities throughout the world and throughout history
- Millions of people across the world feeling united and driven to help others who are suffering or enslaved by dictators"

The list goes on, and my answer would be - quite possibly yes.


I doubt all those things can be attributed to the existence of Hitler.

- women's working rights: A number of these reforms were undertaken in 1910 however they actually turned out to be too restrictive such as the 8 hour workday limit that in the end prevented women from being hired in supervisory positions that might require overtime. Also Germany mobilized women in WWI to work in factories just as the U.S. did in WWII.

- Massive economic growth: Almost every war spurs this.

- A unification of civilizations throughout the entire western world against a tyranny: This is true, but Stalin killed a lot more people ~20 -40 million and he was one of the Three Allies because we didn't want to fight Germany on one Front in the West.*

* This last reality stings the mind. Even more so when one considers that the atrocities of Nazi Germany were not known until after the war! Even though Stalin had purged ~18 Million people by 1938.

This brings us back to 'evil' that is the premise of this thread. IMO, it is Hitler who is most often cited as the embodiment of 'Evil'. Why is that? Is it because people are more upset with Hitler's atrocities than Stalin's? Or do people only have enough mental room in their minds per se for one man? Is it simply because Stalin helped us fight Germany before the U.S.S.R. became the enemy? Or is it because we valued the lives of German's more then we valued the lives of Russian's?

If one Murder is 'evil', and the Head of State of a Country that orders the murder of 6.5 Million people is the embodiment of "Evil" (Hitler), then what is the Head of State of a Country that orders the murder of 18+ Million people (Stalin)?
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Nemo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:49 am

lost_shaman wrote:
This brings us back to 'evil' that is the premise of this thread. IMO, it is Hitler who is most often cited as the embodiment of 'Evil'. Why is that? Is it because people are more upset with Hitler's atrocities than Stalin's? Or do people only have enough mental room in their minds per se for one man? Is it simply because Stalin helped us fight Germany before the U.S.S.R. became the enemy? Or is it because we valued the lives of German's more then we valued the lives of Russian's?

If one Murder is 'evil', and the Head of State of a Country that orders the murder of 6.5 Million people is the embodiment of "Evil" (Hitler), then what is the Head of State of a Country that orders the murder of 18+ Million people (Stalin)?


First, what is evil? Is it simply bad things, inconvenient things, the crops not growing? I suspect that the concept of evil was first based on small things like that. On the one hand, the concept of evil is totally irrelevant. There are only good things that can happen and good decisions and good accidents, or bad ones. The "good" and "bad" are entirely subjective judgements based on the eye of the beholder. To us it would be good if Hitler met with some violent end, to Hitler, and millions of his people, it was quite the opposite and that is history. The concept of and valuation of good and bad is probably also a thing that is entirely a human invention. As far as we can tell and measure the Universe knows neither good or evil, is not conscious so has no values or judgements, things just are. I could be wrong but this is the way it appears to be.

Looking at it this way evil does not exist. I think that it was thought up as a concept to describe things that were VERY bad and the product of intention. Intention by us, or by a character who would seem to have been "invented" (let's just assume that for now) to be the embodiment of consciously caused evil, Satan. In fact, it does seem that Satan, as a character has evolved over time. I think it was only later that he became Mr. Big as far as bad things are concerned, the Devil.

I frankly don't see the idea of there being a Devil as necessary at all. He's usually used as a force that tempts us or causes us to do bad and evil things. We do a perfectly good job of that ourselves, thank you, and I think that by now he'd be out of a job. "He" is probably a cop out. We are responsible for all bad things that we do. And, of all things, the only thing we should really fear are bad people who would cause us harm. People are there own worst enemies, Nature is not much of a problem and we no longer have to fear cave bears and sabre tooth tigers. Think about it, all of the good and bad things in your life mostly come about as the result of the actions of other people and yourself. Disease is another matter.

Even though there may be no such thing as evil as a force in the wolrld do find the word very useful to mean conscious decisions by people which result in transcendently bad consequences. Using that as a shorthand I would say that both Hitler and Pol Pot were evil. Serial killers are also evil, and certain other types of sociopathic criminals who inflict great harm to even one individual.

As to why Stalin isn't seen that way, I heard that Hitler actually had planned to invade Europe and Russia and build up for awhile and attack the U.S. in 1960. I have thought about what would have happened if we had not entered the war and changed his plans. I think that he would have won the war that he had intended and our diplomats would have dealt with it. That is (especially since there werer many here who actively fought any entry by us into a war with Hitler, Charles Lindbergh being a notable figure in this group) we would have found a way to co-exist. In that case, what he did to the Jews and others would remain a rumor. To many no matter what the facts, it would be denied. Success is usually envied and respected by the masses. Many would probably come to admire Hitler and how he had turned around decadent Europe, France, and Communist Russia. I suspect in that case we would have been calling Stalin evil, etc. Then Hitler would attack us.

There have been other genocides in the 20th century that remain relatuvely unknown and denied by the people who did it only because they are the ones that remained living (Turkey). Others were relatively unknown until they were exposed in war as with Pol Pot. The there have been effective genicides twice in the Balkans in recent times and some said don't do anything to stop it and the ones who were tempted to do something took years to take any action. And it always amazes me how genocidal murderers and the people they get to do the dirty work tend to walk scott free. This amounts to great evil being unreported, uninvestigated, not much cared about when it's going on and often unpunished.

As for consciouness and free will; most experts who study the concept of consciousness think that we actually have no free will. I don't believe that for a second but it would affect this discussion.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Nemo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:23 am

ryguy wrote:
longhaircowboy wrote:If there was no Hitler would there be no anti semitism? .


I think *both* of you aren't quite following the premise. If you understood the theory Zep's put forth here, then your question would have been:

"If there was no Hitler, would there be no:
- Dramatic increase of women's rights (specifically working rights) following the war
- Massive economic growth
- An end to many race segregation issues in the military and throughout society
- A unification of civilizations throughout the entire western world against a tyranny
- A global recognition of the plight of jewish communities throughout the world and throughout history
- Millions of people across the world feeling united and driven to help others who are suffering or enslaved by dictators"

The list goes on, and my answer would be - quite possibly yes. We can't possibly fathom the number of people who, after learning about the very *evil* atrocities of this dictator, felt motivated to change their lives completely and help others throughout the world who are oppressed or enslaved. Those are likely unsung heroes, motivated by evil to turn their lives to do "good".

At the core of this argument is that in these ways, ultimately "good" comes from many of the "evils" - so instead of the fact that there is evil in the world *disproving* the existence of a source of good, it actually *proves* that even in allowing evil to take place - that source of Good has an ultimate plan and use for those horrible things that serve a much higher purpose which we can barely fathom.

Makes perfect sense to me. :)

-Ry


Oh, I don't know. First of all, it just chafes me to credit Hitler with being, on the whole, a good thing, or the result of anything good. Secondly, if there is a God, I assume that he would probably like simplicity, parsimony; surely he would find a simpler, more direct, and less miserable way to get us to think women should have equal rights, stop abusing Jewish people, etc. I suppose you could say that if people had simply listened to Jesus Hitler would never have ended up being such a miserable wretch; but somehow people still found even that as an excuse to.......abuse Jewish people, start the Crusades, torture and murder maybe millions along the way. Go figure.

Then again, people who have NDE's (if there even is such a thing) often say that everything makes sense on the whole, even the unfortunate things.

I also don't think that people are good because of evil. In some cases examples of evil do cause that but on the whole I assume that you are just good because you have become self-actualized and have absorbed certain values into your being. It is also because, at some point, you realized that the only way to a good society or a good life is to be good and to encourage it in others. These are mostly positive motivations. I also assume that the best motivation for being good is positive and not due to fear of being caught or of punishment.

Can the existence of transcendently bad actions and consequences be used as an argument against the existence ofGod? I don't know, I assume that it depends on the definition of God and the argument for His (Her?, It's?) existence. This itself spells out part of the problem.....first define God. Many people have said it is many things but I doubt that everyone would agree on the list. Most would resort immediately to the particular dogma that their religion specifies. I guess I tend to be agnostic and have questions and do not deny such things.

There: define God and present arguments for "His" existence.

"He" has been variously described as: and old man who sits in a big chair in the sky or somewhere else, who created everything, is omnipresent and omnipowerful, who controls everything but let's the worst imaginable things happen, who makes the atoms move, who, is perfectly good but who is also very jealous and who will smite thee for any old thing who has done some perfectly bad things at times (I guess that depends on who is at the receiving end) who usually has a big grey beard who moves the planets like clockwork, who......

Seriously, define God.

But first define why the text jumps all over the place when I try to edit this stuff. It's annoying.
Last edited by Nemo on Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Access Denied » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:40 am

Nemo wrote:But first define why the text jumps all over the place when I try to edit this stuff. It's annoying.

:oops:

It is... assuming you're using IE 8, hit the "Compatibility View" button to the right of the URL. You may have to login again.
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Nemo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:45 am

Got it. Thanks...........now define God. :lol:
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Access Denied » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:01 am

Nemo wrote:Got it. Thanks...........now define God. :lol:

rofl... which one? :twisted:
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Nemo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:39 am

Well, I guess that's part of the problem right there. You could take your pick (I suppose I wouldn't recommend Thor, Odin, or Hermes), or you could take a stab at defining one that might be as consistent as possible with what we do know. He apparently doesn't move the planets or run a clockwork Universe and he never did my homework for me. He is most assuredly a he though with a great big beard. No, scratch that.

I think that contemplating if evil could be used as an argument against the existence of God probably depends, in part, on how you define both "evil" and "God", and I suspect, actual agreed on definitions might not be possible. The second one is more difficult than the first one but the idea of "evil" would vary too...from, it doesn't exist to, it is a force that tempts people to do bad things to (which get's personified as Beelzebub, El Diablo, Lucifer, Old Nick, etc.) to, evil is just a very strong word for "bad", and "bad" is also sometimes relative.

People who have NDE's sometimes claim that they meet either beings of light, or God, or Jesus, or..... So maybe something like this exists but I suspect it is difficult to see or perceive in the world as we know it. People who have NDE's quite often claim that they enter a place that is not like here but a place where time and space have no (or a different) meaning.

One thing about NDE's, they are real experiences that real people have had which they do not lie about. If they are naturally occurring illusions they are so similar and consistent and laden with meaning that I would think that they would have to provide a survival advantage to have been created by evolution. I don't see that though. I also don't see how random hallucinations caused by oxygen starvation or any other physical cause could be so consistent or meaningful. I don't think they have been explained or duplicated. Maybe this is where these kinds of being can exist and they don't usually appear in the 3d world which we experience day to day.

So, have a go at it.
Nemo
In Search of Reality
In Search of Reality
 
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Re: The "Problem" of Evil

Postby Nemo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:38 pm

No takers, huh?
Well, if such a thing as God exists then he is probably rather "stand-offish". He would not seem to control things, make the planets move, etc. For the most part he is not actively involved in this level of reality but may (or some intermediary) as required based solely on people's personal subjective experiences.
If something like God exists his definition might be rather sparse and conceptual. Most of the assumptions and mental images we've been given about the subject would probably have to be jettisoned. He doesn't make us do things and doesn't make us do bad things, neither does a devil. I suppose that he also doesn't make bad things happen, they just happen or we make them happen. We have complete free will and what we do with it is completely up to us.

If he exists he might be defined quite simply as the nexus of all existence or of all consciousness.
Nemo
In Search of Reality
In Search of Reality
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:16 pm

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